Warning home owners: ‘Opportunistic’ thefts increase by a quarter as clocks go forward

24 March 2017

  • 27% increase in opportunistic burglaries occur when the clocks go forward
  • Friday still the most common day for break-ins but Monday on the increase
  • 1 in 10 thefts due to home owners being ‘distracted’

Co-op Insurance is warning home owners to be more vigilant in light of their latest claims data released today.*

The findings reveal that two fifths (42%) of home thefts occur after the clocks go forward and of these, over a quarter (28%) are categorised as opportunistic.**

When looking at over ten thousand customer claims, the data reveals that the number of opportunistic thefts increases by a quarter (27%) when the clocks go forward, highlighting a trend of homeowners relaxing home security in the lighter months of the year.

This is in stark contrast to the darker, winter months as from October to March, just a fifth (22%) of break-ins are described as opportunistic.

Furthermore, claims data reveals that the number of thefts as a result of homeowners being ‘distracted’ increases when the clocks go forward and account for 9% of break-ins with examples including thieves posing as builders and engineers, to gain access to properties.

When delving into the days where people are most vulnerable, majority of home thefts take place on Fridays (16%), whilst Tuesday is the least popular day with just over a tenth (12%) of break-ins occurring on a Tuesday.

The data also reveals an increase in opportunists taking their chances just after the weekend, with 1 in 7 (14%) of break-ins occurring on a Monday.

For that reason, Co-op Insurance is offering home owners advisory tips to ensure security remains on the agenda as the clocks go forward.

The Co-op Insurance’s home security tips:

  • Remain vigilant and keep homes secure during the lighter, summer months.
  • Keep windows and doors locked
  • Where possible, invest in a CCTV system
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours
  • Refrain from positing your location on social media platforms
  • Set your home burglar alarm
  • Ensure outbuildings and sheds are locked
  • Refrain from leaving valuable items on display
  • Don’t leave car keys within reach of a letterbox

Jonathan Guy, Head of Claims at the Co-op Insurance said:

“Whilst generally, less break-ins occur when the clocks go back and evenings are lighter, what we’re seeing during this time is a trend of home owners relaxing their home security and opportunist thieves striking.

“At the Co-op we’re keen to keep and make communities safe and so we’re urging people to continue to be vigilant and think carefully about the safety of their property all year round.

“Nobody should have to go through the trauma of having their property burgled and there are some key things that homeowners should be mindful of to ensure any opportunists cannot be tempted.”

Lynn Farrar, chair of Neighbourhood Watch, said:

“These findings from the Co-op Insurance further highlight the need for people to look out for one another.

“With 1 in 10 break-ins being as a result of homeowners being distracted, it’s really important that we look out for our vulnerable neighbours. Our advice is if people aren’t sure who is at the door, don’t open it. Most genuine callers will have a pre-arranged appointment.

“Also if you see a neighbour’s home where it seems a window has been left open, a back gate or a shed left unlocked for example, check on them and let them know.”

Note to editors

Claims data analysed from 2014, comparison between 5 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

For further information please contact:

Emily Penkett
Press & Media Relations Manager
Tel: 07738621201
Email: emily.penkett@coop.co.uk
Follow us: @coopukpress