As has been widely reported in the past, the UK has one of the highest crime rates for burglary and car crime in Europe. In fact, until recently, it had the largest number of burglaries in absolute terms each year.
While this may be the case, it’s still shocking to hear that recent figures show a house or a car gets broken into or vandalised in some way every seven seconds in England and Wales.
That equates to a total of 11,620 incidents every day, statistics from the Office for National Statistics show (ONS).
East Midlands worst hit
The period covered ran for 12 months to March this year and the insurer Churchill broke the statistics down by region to show which experienced the two types of crime the most.
East Midlands came off the worst, experiencing the highest number of incidents involving vehicle and home crime, closely followed by Wales and then Yorkshire and Humberside.
Terraced houses at greatest risk
When it comes to burglary and crime involving the home, terraced houses experienced a 70% higher rate of incidents than detached houses, reflecting the predominance of this type of home in urban areas.
In fact, urban areas are much more afflicted by car and home crime than rural areas with cities suffering 50% more from these types of crime.
Renters suffer more than home owners
Unfortunately for those who rent, burglars and car thieves are more likely to target them than those who own their own homes.
Those defined as ‘social renters’ in the study suffered the most, with 218 criminal incidents being reported for every 1,000 households.
Among those who own their own homes, the figure is 159 for every 1,000.
Unemployed and single parent homes suffer more
Taking all households which experienced such crimes together, those with unemployed members are the most likely to be targeted and account for 359 incidents for every 1,000 households.
Single-parent homes are next, with 287 in very 1,000 experiencing some sort of home-related or car-related crime during the 12 month period.
Those households with permanently ill or disabled residents followed closely at 276 incidents for every 1,000 households that said they had been victims of either type of crime.
Property crime dominates police-recorded offences
The report shows how crimes involving property dominate police-recorded offences, at 72% of all incidents.
And that’s just recorded crimes. The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that overall property crime accounts for a total of 80% of all criminal incidents, whether reported to the police or not.
Policy Expert recommends taking action to keep your home and vehicles safe
Fortunately, with a few sensible precautions, home owners can put off criminals from targeting their homes or cars.
Precautions for the home:
Keep all valuables out of sight of windows as much as is practically possible.
Fit British Standard five-lever mortice locks to external facing doors.
Fit British Standard key-operated locks to windows.
Close garden gates and put locks on gates into rear gardens.
Put lights on timers when you’re away from the home.
Maintain your property well as it’s been shown thieves target unkempt homes as they think they’ll be less secure.
Have a decent home alarm fitted.
Precautions for the car:
Always ensure windows and doors are locked
Try and own a car which doesn’t stand out.
Choose an unobtrusive colour.
Fit an immobiliser and steering lock.
Keep as much as possible out of sight under seats and in boots so as not to tempt potential thieves.
If possible, park off-road, preferably in a garage or at least on a driveway.
If you can’t park off-road, choose a well-lit area or part of your street under a street light.
The customer service team at Policy Expert is always on hand to help – either online or over the phone. Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information on what‘s covered under your Car Insurance policy, speak to one of our experts on 0330 0600 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org