Is your home safe at Christmas?

November 22nd, 2019

City of London saw the biggest increase in burglaries year-on-year for December 2018

As a whole, burglaries are on the decline across the United Kingdom, but this isn’t the case for all areas; with City of London, Kent and Gloucestershire experiencing the biggest increase in burglaries year-on-year when comparing December 2018 to December 2017.

We gathered the information through a series of Freedom of Information requests made to all police forces around the UK. With this information, we built an infographic to show whether there was an increase or decrease in burglaries in each city and town around the UK where we’d received the information requested.

Burglaries in London increase by two thirds

When looking at the research, it was initially found that the City of London had seen the biggest percentage increase in burglaries across the UK, but they weren’t the only ones. The five areas of the UK that saw the highest increase in burglaries in December 2018 compared to December 2017 were found to be:

  1. City of London (+67%) (increase in burglaries year-on-year)
  2. Kent (+36%)
  3. Gloucestershire (+32%)
  4. Cambridgeshire (+29%)
  5. North Yorkshire (+24%)

Burglaries in Merseyside drop by one third

Although there are big increases in burglaries in some constituencies, burglaries as a whole in December are on the decline, with 122 less in December 2018 than 2017. When looking at the areas with a decrease in burglaries, we found the below to have seen the biggest decrease:

  1. Merseyside (-35%) (decrease in burglaries year-on-year)
  2. Dorset (-31%)
  3. Bedfordshire (-23%)
  4. Norfolk (-22%)
  5. Nottinghamshire (-21%)

Mpa showing Christmas burglaries across the UK

The full results

Constabulary Robberies in 2017 Robberies in 2018 % increase
City of London 3 5 +67%
Kent 486 662 +36%
Gloucestershire 192 254 +32%
Cambridgeshire 231 297 +28%
North Yorkshire 155 192 +24%
Devon and Cornwall 170 203 +19%
Surrey 423 494 +17%
West Midlands 1,814 2,119 +16%
Cheshire 281 315 +12%
Cumbria 89 97 +8%
Leicestershire 481 523 +8%
North Wales 183 197 +7%
Greater Manchester 1,904 2,004 +5%
Humberside 514 541 +5%
Suffolk 231 243 +5%
Gwent 200 205 +3%
MET Police 6,989 7,160 +2%
West Yorkshire 1,684 1,728 +2%
Durham 258 255 -1%
Lancashire 743 735 -1%
Thames Valley 676 669 -1%
Northamptonshire 307 299 -3%
Dyfed-Powys 57 51 -11%
Hertfordshire 340 300 -12%
Wiltshire 209 182 -12%
Staffordshire 254 217 -14%
Lincolnshire 352 299 -15%
Cleveland 385 325 -16%
Scotland 799 661 -17%
Nottinghamshire 517 410 -21%
Norfolk 250 194 -22%
Bedfordshire 461 354 -23%
Dorset 253 175 -31%
Merseyside Police 996 644 -35%

What do we think?

Ashleigh Noon, our spokesperson, commented:

December is always going to see a spike in burglaries or attempted burglaries because opportunistic thieves will know a lot of houses will have more valuable items in their home. There are ways to make your home much safer including; alarms, gates and smart tech (doorbell and blinds etc.), these might be worth investing in to ensure your home is safer this Christmas.

Tips on keeping your home safe this Christmas

Even if burglaries are on the decline in your area, it is still important to keep your home safe. We’ve put together the below top tips for ensuring your home is safe this coming December – and throughout the whole year.

Don’t keep presents under the tree or on display

Traditionally presents are kept under the tree, but following this tradition can act like a beacon for valuable items, especially when curtains and blinds are open, or for anyone who is already in your home, friend or foe. Hiding valuables around your house is a much better option for protecting your home, however they will need to be hidden well to avoid the grasps of curious younger children in the home. If you do want to keep with the tradition, keep Christmas trees away from windows too.

Ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked

Thieves are often opportunists and if there is an easy route into your home they will try and exploit it. Open windows and doors are almost too inviting for thieves. It is important to keep your home locked up, even if you’re indoors, to deter would-be thieves.

Keep your information private

We are a generation of over-sharers and people like to post various aspects of their lives on social media – including images of their home and when they are out of the house, leaving it empty. But this could be giving thieves an open goal for a free house. If you avoid telling social media when you are out, thieves won’t know if your house is vacant, meaning they are less likely to trespass. It also has to be said that as tempting as it is, we would suggest not sharing what you received for Christmas too because if you do it is like posting a catalogue for potential thieves. What’s more, should there be an incident at your home, you could well be invalidating your insurance by sharing too much on your social media accounts.

Make your home look used

If you are out of the house and want to give the impression that someone is in, a good thing to do is close the curtains and blinds but leave a light on. Smart blinds are also a good accessory because you can close them wherever you are at will via an app. If you are planning to be away for a few days, get timer plugs that you can control from outside of the home, or ask a neighbour, relative or friend to pop into your house to open and close curtains and turn lights on and off.

Be vigilant

Always keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour in your area. Security features, such as house alarms and interactive doorbells, are a must-have over the festive period – if you can afford them – and will go a long way in deterring thieves.

Read more blog posts