The incidence of burglary in the UK is on the rise again after falling for a number of years, with the most recent Government figures showing a 29% increase on the previous 12 months.
And as the latest figures from the insurer Policy Expert show, the psychological impact of thieves breaking into a home is greater than many might think, in addition to the financial ramifications.
Even though, in the majority of cases, those being burgled aren’t at home at the time, it still leads to just under one-in-seven (15%) victims actually moving home afterwards.
Over one-in-ten (12%) have suffered the trauma of having their home ransacked, which equates to 3.2million homes around the country.
Nearly half (44%) of those affected say they have had trouble sleeping after a break in occurred.
Many suffer in other ways too, with around one-in-eight (12%) becoming less self-confident as a result.
Tragically, a significant number, just over one-in-twelve (8%), were so frightened that they are no longer able to face being in their home on their own.
Apart from the potential psychological issues that may arise, problems can also be caused by potential financial losses, especially if there isn’t the right level or type of home insurance in place to cover any loss.
Policy Expert’s research shows that the average value of possessions stolen during a robbery is £1,932.
Most commonly stolen possessions
The most commonly taken item of value is jewellery (46%), which can be of both financial and significant emotional worth too.
Electronics, including laptops and phones, are next on thieves’ list in just over one-in-three (36%) cases.
Cash and bank cards are the third most common items to be snatched in one-in-four burglaries (25%), for obvious reasons.
Televisions are relatively light and easy-to-carry these days and are taken in one-in-five (20%) incidences.
Watches are also a target in a considerable number (18%) of robberies.
Sheds and outbuildings are often easier to steal from than the main home, which is probably why power tools (7%), bicycles (6%) and cars and motorbikes (5%) are taken in a significant numbers.
Clothes and shoes (5%), and booze (4%), such as expensive wine and spirits, are also sometimes in a thieves ‘shopping’ lists.
Other possessions Policy Expert’s research shows as sometimes being stolen include microwaves, fishing rods, frozen food and binoculars.
Burglar entry points
The most common entry points into a home by thieves indicate where householders should try and improve security – if they haven’t done so already.
Burglars are most likely to get in via a downstairs window (33% of all burglaries), closely followed by a back door (28%) and then the front door (18%).
Damage to fixtures
Apart from paying to replace items taken, damage caused to access points can be costly to put right. Buildings and contents home insurance can help, as long as a policy is in place when a burglary occurs.
Front doors are damaged in just over one-in-three (36%) cases, while windows need replacing after being broken in over one-in-four (28%). And another one-in-six burglaries lead to broken locks which then need changing.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 25th January 2019