there’s dan­ger in the dark­ness

Novem­ber nights are the bur­glar’s best friend – take pro­tec­tive steps

The Wharf - - Property -

Many peo­ple get mis­er­able when the clocks go back. But for one group, the hour change is bo­nanza time. Bri­tain’s bur­glars love darker evenings – it can mean get­ting into your prop­erty, steal­ing your valu­ables and dis­ap­pear­ing be­fore you get home.

Ac­cord­ing to Churchill Home In­sur­ance, Novem­ber is the worst month for bur­glar­ies. There’s a claim – on av­er­age – ev­ery four min­utes. That adds up to nearly 10,000 dur­ing the month.

And that’s not count­ing break-ins not re­ported to in­sur­ers. Some homes do not have cover.

But many vic­tims don’t think a claim is worth­while – it could be below the value of their ex­cess (that’s the first slice of the claim the pol­i­cy­holder pays) or they don’t want to af­fect their no claims record.

From late Oc­to­ber to late Novem­ber the night starts al­most two hours ear­lier lead­ing to this month see­ing break-ins up by 18% over the av­er­age for the year.

Thieves are also aware the next weeks are the most im­por­tant in the year for ac­quir­ing new items. Com­bin­ing Black Fri­day, Cy­ber Mon­day and the festive sea­son means lots of homes have lots of un­opened parcels and pack­ets.

It’s eas­ier and more lu­cra­tive for bur­glars to sell an un­touched com­puter in its orig­i­nal box than a used ma­chine. Ac­cord­ing to Churchill’s fig­ures, North­ern Ire­land and Lon­don see the big­gest in­crease in bur­glar­ies dur­ing Novem­ber ris­ing some 30% while the North East ac­tu­ally sees a nine per cent fall – no one seems able to ex­plain this fall off. The only good news is bur­glar­ies fall in December. Thieves take a break like the hon­est rest of us, and as they’ve done so many ex­tra in Novem­ber, there’s less left to nick in the last month of the year. Churchill’s head of home in­sur­ance Martin Scott says: “This anal­y­sis high­lights the im­por­tance of be­ing ex­tra vig­i­lant as we ap­proach the win­ter months, with bur­glars pre­fer­ring to op­er­ate un­der the cover of dark­ness.

As the nights draw in, it’s im­por­tant to take ex­tra se­cu­rity pre­cau­tions to make life as hard as pos­si­ble for in­trud­ers.”

But oddly enough, where there is no street light­ing or it’s turned off, bur­glars stay away.

They need some light to steal by and gen­er­ally won’t risk be­com­ing vis­i­ble by us­ing torches on re­ally dark roads. Alex Neill of Which?

As night falls ear­lier and ear­lier crim­i­nals will use this to cover their ac­tiv­i­ties – take care you don’t fall vic­tim

The prospect of all the sales and present buy­ing over the next month or so is ir­re­sistible to thieves

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