Daylight robbery: residents warned against double burglary threat as clocks go forward tonight

27 March 2021

• Opportunistic burglaries increase by almost 10% in the summer months

• Experts also fear easing of lockdown could lead to new rise in burglaries

• Theft claims dropped 52% last year due to people staying at home

• Saturday was most common day for summer break-ins last year

• 1 in 10 thefts are due to residents being ‘distracted’ by thieves posing as bogus callers

Co-op Insurance is warning the general public to be more diligent when it comes to home security as the clocks get set to ‘spring’ forward tonight (01.00 Sunday 28 March). Claims data from the past five years* shows that almost half (45%) of home thefts occur after daylight saving is applied with almost four out of ten (38%) of these being categorised as ‘opportunistic’.

Opportunistic crimes generally happen when windows and doors are left open, items such as bikes and parcels are left outside or residents are out in their garden. The figures are in stark contrast to the darker, winter months from October to March, when only a third (31%) of break-ins are characterised as opportunistic.

The insurer is also warning that the easing of lockdown could lead to a rise in burglaries as people spend more time out of the house and forget basic home security measures after a year spent largely indoors. Co-op Insurance data shows that home theft claims fell by 52% in 2020 compared to 2019**.

The number of thefts that take place due to homeowners being ‘distracted’ also increases to over one in ten (11%) when the clocks go forward. Distraction break-ins occur when thieves mislead people by posing as bogus callers to gain access to properties.

And when it comes to the day of the week when your home is most likely to be targeted, claims data shows that last summer almost a fifth of burglaries (17%) between March and October took place on a Saturday** making it the day for homeowners to be on their guard.

Andrew Nevitt, Head of Co-op Home Insurance, said: “It’s only natural that we’re all looking forward to longer days and the opportunity to get out and about. But it’s important that homeowners recognise that the threat of burglary is greater than ever, particularly as would-be thieves know that many people may have invested in expensive items such as laptops, tablets, televisions, bicycles and garden furniture over the past year.

“As we start to leave our homes unattended once more, it’s important to remind ourselves of basic security measures and to remove any window of opportunity for thefts and burglaries to take place.”

Co-op Insurance’s home security tips: • Keep windows and doors locked and make sure all windows are fitted with key operated window locks • Don’t leave keys in clear sight or within reach of a letterbox • Make sure your lights come in if you’re going to be away from home – look into investing in home technology apps or smart speakers that can do this • Take photos of your valuables and security mark them with your postcode and house number • Don’t allow people you don’t know to gain access without checking their ID – call their office if you’re not sure if they’re genuine • Check on vulnerable neighbours ENDS

Note to Editors: * Claims data analysed from Nov 2015- Aug 2020, comparison between five months preceding the start of daylight savings time and 5 months after. Opportunistic refers to the proportion of burglaries which have been classified as non-forcible entry Co-op Insurance home theft claims data January – December 2020 compared to January – December 2019. * During the 5 Months after daylight saving time, Saturday is the most likely day for thefts to occur according to claims data from April to August in 2019 and 2020.

About Co-op Insurance: Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-ops, owned by millions of members. Alongside Co-op Insurance, we have the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, and a developing legal services business. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Co-op is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.