Has lockdown reduced domestic burglaries in the UK?
According to the Office of National Statistics, domestic burglaries fell sharply during 2020 -mainly because the increased time we all spent at home during lockdown created fewer opportunities for intruders.
Let’s take a look at the statistics.
Recorded crime levels fell dramatically during lockdown
During the lockdown period, police recorded crime levels were much lower than respective months in 2019, with 25% less crime in April 2020 and 20% less crime in May 2020. Theft offences fell in April and May 2020 to almost half the level recorded in April and May 2019.
The Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated three million incidents of theft for the year ending March 2021. This is a 20% decrease in comparison with the year ending March 2019.
These figures are made up of a 47% decrease in theft from person offences (212,000 offences) and a 33% reduction in domestic burglary offences (440,000 offences).
Police recorded theft offences decreased by 32% in the year ending March 2021 compared with the previous year (to 1.3 million offences). Police recorded robbery offences decreased by 34% in the year ending March 2021 compared with the previous year, to 59,615 offences.
Lockdown restrictions drove these reductions as people spent more time in their homes, plus non-essential shops and the night-time economy were closed.
“There was a significant fall in crime at the height of the coronavirus pandemic across England and Wales. This was driven by reductions in theft offences, particularly domestic burglary and theft of personal property. As this period coincided with the majority of people spending long periods at home during lockdown, it is not unexpected. These first findings from our new telephone-operated crime survey support police recorded data which also show lower than usual levels of offending in April and May,” reported Billy Gazard of the Office for National Statistics Centre for Crime and Justice.
But what happens now lockdown is over?
Is crime expected to bounce back? Unfortunately, householders have been warned to take precautions as there are added enticements for burglars.
Research by John Lewis reported that the average household purchased over £4,000 worth of goods during the pandemic. These were associated with work, exercise and entertainment at home.
That means that most houses now contain quite a few new expensive items.
According to Ali Berryman, Head of Financial Services at John Lewis, “Over the last twelve months, out of necessity we’ve turned our homes into offices, gyms and places to entertain ourselves - and we’ve spent lots of money making this happen.”
Is your home secure?
Mick Duthie, Director of Operations at Crimestoppers, warned earlier this year, “Having your home burgled can be not only a costly experience but also emotionally traumatic. As we come out of lockdown, it’s crucial that we all ensure our homes are as secure as possible. This spring could feel like the Christmas burglars didn’t have last year, because we stayed at home.”
He advised checking your current security levels and doing everything you can to make it harder for burglars to gain entry. Precautions include:
- Ensure high-quality locks are fitted on all doors and windows.
- Whenever you go out, even if it’s just for a few minutes, check all doors and windows are properly closed and locked.
- Secure any side and back gates.
- Fit burglar alarms with flashing lights and sounders at the front and back of your property.
Would you like expert advice on how to improve your home security?
Find out how the latest security products can improve the security of your home, contact Stuart at Rocks Locks. Stuart will conduct a FREE security survey and provide advice on the best security solutions to meet your needs and budget.
Call Stuart on 07900 335525.