UK residents have been warned to be on their guard as criminals look to make the most of the Festive season.
Home insurance provider buzzvault has analysed data from the Metropolitan Police and found that midday on Christmas eve is the time when most burglaries occur as crooks look to snatch the presents from under the tree.
It warns that with homes stocked up with gifts for loved ones under the tree and hidden away in cupboards ready to wrap, the lure of all these presents is often too good to miss for burglars. A Freedom of Information request by buzzvault has revealed burglaries over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 2018 saw more than £270,000 worth of goods stolen.
From jewellery to handbags, laptops and cameras, there were a total of 253 residential burglaries over the two days. Analysis of the figures from the Metropolitan Police’s Crime Reporting Information System (CRIS) also revealed it’s not just under the blanket of darkness that burglars strike: the highest number took place on Christmas Eve at midday.
With a better chance of accessing presents under the tree yet to be unwrapped, there were more burglaries on Christmas Eve overall: 160 compared to 93 on Christmas Day. The value of goods taken
the ‘night before Christmas’ was £181,742, with £88,331 stolen on the big day itself. Jewellery was the highest value item whisked away, with a value of more than £103,000 across both days including necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings. This was followed by cash, electricals, technology and watches.
Sadly, it’s not just Santa coming down the chimney: 20% of the burglaries on Christmas Day occurred between midnight and 4am, leaving many families waking up to missing presents on Christmas morning.
Becky Downing, (pic) CEO and founder of buzzvault: “With all the excitement around Christmas, it’s easy to forget about how tempting this can be for potential burglars. But at this time of year when houses are more likely to be filled with expensive gifts, people must remember to be extra vigilant and keep valuables safe and secure. To avoid spending the entire time worrying, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your homes are protected: keep presents hidden out of sight and away from prying eyes on social media, but most of all, make sure your home and contents insurance has you covered.”