Clocks Go Back, Criminals Come Out - 26% Increase in Burglary Between Halloween and Bonfire Night

As British Summertime finally draws to a close Aviva is calling on all homeowners to beware Halloween hooliganism and bonfire night burglaries as latest statistics show that when the clocks go back crime goes up.

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(PRWEB) October 26, 2011

As British Summertime finally draws to a close Aviva is calling on all homeowners to beware Halloween hooliganism and bonfire night burglaries as latest statistics show that when the clocks go back crime goes up.

Avoid the Wrong Kind of Fireworks

Research conducted by the insurer with 16 police forces across the UK found that the week from 30 October to 5 November last year saw an average increase in reported burglaries of 26%* compared with the weekly average for the rest of the year.** The highest increase was in Strathclyde where police saw an increase of 57% in reported burglaries for that week compared with their weekly average for the rest of the year. This is supported by ten years of Aviva claims data which shows a 28% increase in burglary claims on Bonfire Night, making it the worst night of the year for break-ins.

Rob Townend, property claims director at Aviva says,

“Shorter days present more opportunities for criminals to work under cover of darkness. On Bonfire Night in particular, many people are out of the house at public displays or at parties and the noise of fireworks provides a distraction and means that suspicious sounds such as smashing glass aren’t heard.”

Halloween Horrors

Halloween also presents a threat to homeowners as tricks take a more sinister turn. Ten years of Aviva claims data shows a rise of 150% in malicious damage claims to the home with damage to cars rising by 50% and car thefts also increasing by 20%. Common Halloween claims include smashed windows, vandalism to vehicles and damage to garden property.

Rob Townend, property claims director at Aviva says,

“Unfortunately, the combination of darker nights and a mischievous occasion like Halloween or a noisy one like Bonfire Night present too good an opportunity for some criminals to resist. These are real hotspots in the crime calendar when homes and cars can be more at risk than any other time in the year.

“However, simple measures can help to minimise the risk – put the car in the garage if you have one, tidy up any loose garden items or ornaments so they are not used to cause damage and make your house look occupied if you are going out by leaving lights on and of course make sure all doors and windows are securely locked.

“Obviously, theft and malicious damage are covered as standard by your home insurance if the worst does happen, but it’s best to take steps to avoid having the worry of being a victim of crime in the first place.”

REMEMBER REMEMBER…TOP TRICKS TO AVOID BEING TARGETED BY CRIMINALS:
· Put the car in the garage or tucked out of the way for the night
· Move any garden ornaments, potted plants or bikes from the front or side of your house and out of sight
· Don’t feel you have to answer your door, to trick or treaters, if you don’t want to.
· Leave the radio and the odd light on when you’re out during the winter to give the appearance of someone being home
· Ensure sheds, garages and other out-buildings have robust locks
· If you enjoying a firework party in the garden, make sure your front doors and windows are shut and locked

*Based on FOI requests to 16 UK police forces on the number of reported incidences of Burglary in a Dwelling between 30 October and 5 November 2010.

**Weekly average calculated using British Crime Survey 2010/11 Crime in England & Wales 2010/11: Police Force Area tables, Table 4 Burglary offences recorded by the police, percentage change and rates by police force area, English region and Wales, 2010/11 and Strathclyde Police Annual Report 2011

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