November 8, 2019 12:01:00 AM
Fridays in November are a prime time for burglars to strike, an insurer is warning.
The research found a fifth of people who say they have been the victims of neighbourhood crime did not contact the police.
Co-op Insurance, which analysed thousands of claims, said November is the most common month for home break-ins – and thieves are most likely to make their move on a Friday.
The insurer often sees a spike in cases after the clocks have gone back, as the days become darker.
The Co-op produced a report with Neighbourhood Watch, which also involved a survey of 4,000 people across the UK.
It found over a third (38%) say they have been a victim of neighbourhood crime, with two fifths (41%) having had their homes broken into.
Other than break-ins and attempted break-ins neighbourhood crime included car crime, property vandalism, physical attacks and cybercrime.
But a fifth (20%) of victims surveyed had decided not to contact the police.
When asked why, over half (59%) said they were not convinced anything would be done.
But more than half (58%) of those who did report it said they were visited by the police.
Of those people who have had their properties broken into, eight in ten (80%) say the crime has impacted their day-to-day life.
More than one in five (23%) were scared that it would happen again, while one in six (16%) still feel traumatised.
Colin Butler, head insurance at Co-op Insurance, said: “Unfortunately, year-on-year, our claims data shows that darker nights lead to more burglaries.
“As the nights draw in, we’re urging people to be vigilant when it comes to their personal safety, as well as the safety of their home.”
John Hayward-Cripps, chief executive of Neighbourhood Watch said: “Being neighbourly and getting involved in your community brings long lasting rewards such as reducing fear of crime and making people proud of where they live.”
Here are some tips from Co-op Insurance to protect against burglaries:
1. Leave a light on when out or invest in a light timer.
2. Install exterior security lights at the front and back of the property.
3. If possible, invest in a CCTV system.
4. Do not post your location on social media.
5. Ensure doors and windows are locked.
6. Set burglar alarms.
7. Ensure outbuildings and sheds are secured.
8. Do not leave valuables on display.
9. Never leave car keys within easy reach of a letterbox.
10. Do not leave ladders outside your home.