South West homeowners urged to be vigilant with burglaries anticipated to rise

North Devon Gazette

South West homeowners urged to be vigilant with burglaries anticipated to riseÂ

An insurance expert has warned “complacency could cost South West homeowners dear” amidst fears of a surge in burglaries.Â

Amanda Harman, of insurance brokers Lycetts, has voiced concern that the return to work and increase in unoccupied homes during the day in the wake of eased lockdown restrictions could lead to a rise in break-ins.Â

Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show residential burglaries in the region fell from 12,774 in the year ending September 2020, to 10,488 in the 12-month period up to September 2021.Â

“While a return to normality and fall in the number of burglaries is welcome, people can ill-afford to be complacent and extra attention should be paid to home security as homes have become easier targets for burglars,” said Harman.Â

The regional figures reflect a nationwide drop in the number of home burglaries, from 233,154 in 2020 to 189,093 incidents in 2021.Â

In the year prior to the lockdown of March 2020, there were 248,633 residential burglaries – 59,540 more than the latest figures2. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which conducted the survey, attributed the fall to the impact of lockdown, when working from home became the norm.Â

“It is important homeowners check their home security systems are up-to-date. Alarms, security lighting, cameras and smart locks, should be in good working order,” Harman said.Â

In addition, she advised them to review their home insurance policies to make sure they have the correct level of cover.Â

“Many invested in new technologies while working from home. Coupled with that was the home improvement boom during the pandemic which saw many extensions being built, often housing expensive new home entertainment systems. This may have affected the level of cover needed.Â

“It is upsetting enough to be a victim of burglary but finding that you are under-insured adds can compound the distress.”Â