There is no furlough scheme for burglars. And with a 20% reduction in house burglaries during 2020 equating to individual losses for thieves around £12,954, fears are mounting that there could be a domestic burglary resurgence incoming in 2021.
As the UK approaches the easing of restrictions amid the vaccination drive, insurance providers are warning homeowners to proactively protect their properties.
The coming months will see people return to work, plan more trips away from home and go on holiday - recent data from an online staycation booking service shows a 92% increase compared to this time last year.
However, Brits’ eagerness to flee the confinement of their homes presents an opportunity for burglars, who will be looking to recoup their lockdown losses - with 70,000 fewer burglaries taking place compared to 2019. Many families have spent extra money on home entertainment to ease lockdown boredom, including a 121% rise in gaming technology sales providing further impetus for burglars.
Home insurance provider, Hiro, has issued a warning to homeowners and is calling for people to take active steps in securing their properties. In addition to using extra locks on doors and windows, and making sure valuables are not on display - there are some simple steps that homeowners can take to deter criminals and simulate occupancy using smart home technology devices.
Investing in smart home technology, including smart doorbells, WiFi-equipped alarm systems and connected lights are among some of the devices that can help to deter or catch burglars in the act. And in some cases, homeowners will already have devices that can help to make properties more secure. More than 50% of UK households now own at least one smart home tech device.
Krystian Zajac, CEO of Hiro, explains: “Just as legitimate businesses are looking forward to a post-pandemic sales bounce, criminals will also be looking to recoup their losses, with burglars missing out on £103.2m worth of crime in 2020 - £12,954 each based on prison data. Of course, we don’t feel sorry for this group - but they’ll be licking their lips at the thought of millions of properties left vacant as families rush to enjoy long-postponed holidays.
"Now is the perfect time to act and to make sure your home is as safe as possible. In many cases, people already own some of the smart technology that can help to make a difference. A smart speaker or connected lighting system can simulate occupancy while you are away, deterring criminals. Our research has found that 70% of smart home tech owners have not made a claim in the last five years - this tech can definitely make a difference.”