Ahead of this Friday's England v Scotland game, Churchill is warning homeowners to be extra vigilant as Fridays are most popular day for burglaries
Days when the home nations play football also see a 15 per cent spike in burglaries
Burglars have had limited opportunities during lockdowns, but as lockdown eases and people leave homes empty Churchill is predicting a surge in property crime
£2.5 million of items were still stolen every day last year
Ahead of this Friday's England vs Scotland game Churchill is warning homeowners to be extra vigilant as Fridays are burglars' favourite day of the week. Friday sees 13 per cent1 more burglaries taking place compared to the average day, as criminals take advantage of empty homes.
Burglars also know when people are likely to be out watching big football matches. Analysis of football fixtures in 2020 found a 15 per cent2 spike in burglaries on days when home national teams are playing when compared to the daily average for that time of year.
With England and Scotland facing off at Wembley at 8pm on Friday night, and with Wales facing Italy at 5pm on Sunday, Churchill is advising homeowners who will be leaving their homes unattended to watch the matches to ensure they take the necessary precautions to make their property as safe as possible.
Homes are likely to be more vulnerable than ever as burglars have had limited opportunity to commit crime due to homes being occupied during lockdowns. In 2020, 100,000 fewer burglaries3 took place and the insurer is urging homeowners to be careful as the perfect storm of pent up demand from burglars and more homes unoccupied could see a spike in crimes.
Churchill estimates that £2.5 million worth of possessions4 were stolen every day in 2020, £926 million across the country throughout the year. While 768 daily burglaries still took place last year, this was a fall of 27 per cent on 2019.
Steven Williams, Head of Churchill home insurance, said: 'We are concerned that burglary rates are going to start soaring as homes are left unoccupied this summer when people go out to watch the Euros or go away on holiday. We know that Fridays and home nation match days see a spike in burglaries and there could be an even greater spike this summer, with so much pent up demand from burglars who couldn't commit much crime during lockdowns.
'We urge homeowners not to become complacent and lax about security just when their homes are most at risk. There are simple steps you can take to protect your home and reduce the chance of a burglar targeting your property.'
Churchill has provided these top tips to help people make their homes as safe as possible against the increased threat of burglary this summer:
Don't advertise that your home is empty: Social media accounts are easy for thieves to monitor so while it's tempting to share holiday snaps online or check in to beachside restaurant, it may be alerting burglars that your home is empty
Take steps when you go away: Before you go on holiday, cancel any papers or milk you might have delivered, install timers which switch lights or radios on automatically and ask a trusted friend, family member or neighbour to pop in. This will make it harder for potential burglars to identify that a house is unoccupied.
Do the basics well: An unlocked door or open window can be the only invitation a burglar needs to break into a home. Lock all doors and windows at night or before going out, and ensure that all easily accessible, high value items such as wallets, phones and laptops are kept out of sight
Make life hard for burglars: As well as installing security measures like cameras and alarms, consider other items that may be useful for breaking and entering, such as ladders or hammers. Large hedges, fences or trees can also give burglars the cover they need to carry out their actions undetected
Look out for your neighbours: Neighbourhood Watch schemes operate around the UK and anyone can get involved. They are set up to allow local people to help the police cut crime and are led by volunteer co-ordinators who get everyone together to discuss how they can make their area a safer place to live
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best: Sometimes being the victim of a burglary can be attributed to nothing but bad luck. If the worst does happen, knowing that you have an up-to-date, comprehensive home insurance policy that will replace any items stolen or damaged in a burglary can help put your mind at rest
Notes to Editor
1 Analysis of group burglary claims data made during 2020, broken down by date and day of the week over the course of the year.
2 Analysis of group burglary claims data made on the same day as scheduled football matches played by the home nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) during 2020. Each nation played eight games between September and November, with the average number of burglaries compared to the daily average for the three-month period.
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Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK's leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.
Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.
Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200 300 or visiting www.churchill.com