Bank holiday weekends generally see more people away from home and in the warmer weather people spend more time in their gardens, leaving their homes less secure. This may explain why there tend to be more home burglaries over a bank holiday than on a normal weekend. In 2014, August also showed the highest number of burglaries in the summer months as school holidays were in full swing.
Any bank holidays, Christmas, Easter or Halloween tend to see opportunist crimes increase due to fewer people being at home. Sheds and garages are also becoming a higher target over holiday time.
Figures from the latest crime survey for England and Wales show there were 941,000 reported burglaries in the past year from outside sheds, garages and outbuildings, affecting around 1 in 20 UK homes. Never leave garages or sheds unlocked. Valuable tools can be appealing to burglars and also can be used to gain entry to your home. It is advisable to extend your home intruder alarm to these buildings.
Trends show a rise in thefts from vehicles in summer months so be sure not to leave valuables in the car, or at least move them out of view. Common items targeted are phones, wallets, handbags, tablets and sat navs.
Statistics also show that a number of intrusions happen when people are still in their homes, or even out in their gardens. Doors and windows are often left unlocked, or even wide open so burglars can literally let themselves in. 64% of house owners confess to occasionally leaving doors unlocked while away, and another 37% admit to leaving doors open while they are at home, even though 22% of burglaries occur when a home is occupied. 1 in 3 burglaries take place when thieves simply walk through unlocked doors or reach in to steal items through open windows.
Data shows that 6000 burglaries last year happened using keys. 29% of homeowners admit to hiding a spare key outside their home, most commonly under a door mat or a plant pot. 1 in 4 keys are hidden in case of an emergency, but some are just hidden in the event of losing keys.
Another common way for burglars to use keys to enter a home, is by retrieving keys through a letter box or open window, as 1 in 5 homes leave keys near their front door in plain sight.
Businesses can also be a target during bank holidays as it can be clear that the premises is empty. Be sure not to leave large amounts of money in a premises over the long weekend, make sure the intruder alarm is set and that all windows and doors are secure.
To prevent bank holiday burglaries this weekend remember an open window is an invitation to a burglar and don’t leave your keys on view or easily accessible. Always set your intruder alarm when leaving home and if you do see anything suspicious in your area be sure to report it.