Crime and burglary patterns during the year

Different types of theft occur more often during specific times of the year – bike thefts, for example, are higher in the spring and summer months because more people are cycling in the nice weather. Bikes are stolen from where they are locked up in public and also from unsecured sheds and garages. The theft of gardening tools and DIY equipment also increases at these times as people spend longer outdoors, perhaps doing home and garden maintenance leaving their sheds and garages open while they work. Opportunists will see that chance to steal a bike and a leaf-blower, making off on the very item they have stolen from you.

House break-ins tend to rise in the autumn and winter because the long dark nights provide excellent cover for burglars to hide; events like Halloween and Bonfire Night assure potential burglars that many homes will be completely empty. With the average burglary lasting under ten minutes, a fireworks event can provide the time to commit several break-ins, using the noise as a cover when breaking in. Christmas events also mean people are away from home and the incentive to steal presents is high. Burglars know there will be gifts in every home and if they can steal what they need, or sell on desirable items for money, then their Christmas is sorted, albeit at the expense of others. The period after New Year tends to be a frugal time as people cope with their festive over spending, and criminals who are already down on their luck are incentivised to steal to get through the bleak months.

In the summer months theft is more likely to occur away from the home rather than in it. This includes pickpocketing tourists, stealing valuables from slumbering sunbathers and the theft of bikes and toys from parks and other leisure areas. People are out and about more and may resort to leaving car windows open for some fresh air, giving thieves easy access by doing so. The same goes for homes, but with people spending more time in the garden than during the winter it is harder for burglars to break in unnoticed.

Being aware of these seasonal trends is a good start, if you know what is likely to happen you can take steps to prevent it. There are simple things like always locking sheds, garages and front doors and not leaving windows open at the front of the house while you are in the back garden. Security lights are an excellent deterrent, especially in the winter when the presence of motion activated lights removes the blanket of darkness that burglars rely on.

Being friendly with your neighbours is also a good thing, as by building a solid relationship with them you have someone who you can trust to watch your home while you are on holiday, and vice versa. If the whole street knows everyone else, at least by sight, then there is a reduced chance that a burglar can operate unchallenged.

Using an NSI approved burglar alarm is a great way of beefing up your home security. Often, the presence of an alarm is enough of a visual deterrent to burglars looking for a low key, easy break in. The noise of an alarm going off will also send some criminals scarpering, and if you have a system with a monitored police response, like the ones we provide at P&R Alarms, then the emergency services will respond quickly and hopefully catch the criminals in the act, or at the very least on their escape.

Another effective deterrent is CCTV, which will put off all but the most determined burglar. They don’t want to get caught, so if they think there might be evidence of the crime they will decide to commit it elsewhere, somewhere they won’t be caught on camera. P&R Alarms can provide top of the range equipment, trusted maintenance and repair services and impartial, professional advice on keeping your home safe and secure all year round.