This is where Sussex and Surrey rank among the areas safest from Christmas burglaries, according to new analysis
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The ranking, created by insurance experts Howden Insurance, analysed police force data to determine which areas of England and Wales are the most vulnerable to break-ins during the festive period.
Using data from the past three years, the study identified which police forces recorded the highest number of burglaries throughout November and December, per 100,000 residents.
Sussex was found to have the third-lowest number of break-ins throughout this period, at an average of 43 burglaries per 100,000 people.
Sussex Police recorded 2,225 burglaries in total throughout November and December, but also experienced a 10.56% increase in burglaries between 2020 and 2022.
Meanwhile, Surrey ranked tenth most secure from break-ins over the festive period, with an average of 54 burglaries per 100,000 residents throughout November and December.
Surrey Police recorded 1,962 in total throughout this period, but saw a 16.56% increase in burglaries between 2020 and 2022.
Norfolk was found to have the lowest number of break-ins during this period, with only 37 burglaries per 100,000 residents on average. Norfolk Police, who cover Norwich, King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Thetford, recorded 1,043 burglaries in total throughout November and December over the last three years.
However, Norfolk was also found to have experienced a 18.83% increase in reported burglaries between 2020 and 2022.
Ranking as the second safest area over Christmas is Dyfed-Powys, at an average of 41 burglaries per 100,000 people. Dyfed-Powys Police, who cover Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, and Powys recorded 645 burglaries throughout November and December over the past three years. Dyfed-Powys Police have also seen a 3.26% increase in recorded burglaries between 2020 and 2022.
Wiltshire was named the third least at risk with an average of 42 burglaries per 100,000 people. The police force recorded a total of 954 burglaries between November and December, over the past three years.
At the other end of the scale, the homeowners were found to be most at risk in South Yorkshire, with a staggering average of 148 burglaries per 100,000 residents.
As well as considering the areas most at risk of burglaries, the study looked at which have experienced the largest percentage increase between 2020 and 2022.
The study found Staffordshire to have the largest increase of 43.36% since 2020, followed by Leicestershire (30.2%) and Gloucestershire (19.57%).
Meanwhile, Bedfordshire reported the biggest decrease in break-ins during the same time period, with reported burglaries declining by 30.1%.
Speaking on the findings, a spokesperson for Howden Insurance said: “With the Christmas shopping season in full swing throughout November and December, it is important to ensure that gifts are kept out of sight in your home, as they can serve as an enticing invitation to criminal onlookers.
“Combine this with the increased likelihood of homes being temporarily vacant as people visit family and friends over the Christmas period, and you create the ideal conditions for opportunistic thieves.
“Beyond the financial aspect, the emotional impact of having your gifts stolen is considerable and can result in stress and disappointment during what should otherwise be a joyous time. By taking proactive measures to secure their property, homeowners can reduce the risk of break-ins, during these riskier winter months.”
The festive season ushers in an increased risk of home break-ins, which means it is important to take proactive measures to safeguard your property and belongings.
Howden Insurance have shared their top tips to help secure your home and gifts during the Christmas period:
Home security system – Consider installing a home security system if you don't have one already. This can include alarms, motion detectors, and security cameras.
Secure doors and windows – Ensure all doors and windows are securely locked before leaving the house. Reinforce entry points with deadbolt locks and consider installing security bars or reinforcements if needed.
Timed lighting – Use timers for lights both inside and outside your home. This gives the appearance that someone is home, deterring potential burglars. Smart plugs and bulbs can be programmed to simulate your usual daily routines.
Secure valuables – Store valuable items, such as jewellery and important documents, in a secure and hidden location. Consider using a safe for added protection.
Social media caution – Be mindful of what you share on social media. Avoid posting specific travel plans or that your home will be unoccupied, as burglars may use this information to break into your home while you are away.