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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Thefts increase by a quarter after clocks go forward

There is a 27% increase in the number of opportunistic burglaries in the following months after the clocks go forward in the UK, according to research by Co-op Insurance.

Home owners relaxing their security ©iStock
Home owners relaxing their security ©iStock

The findings show that 42% of home thefts occur in the five months after the clock change, with 28% of these categorised as ‘opportunistic’, compared with 22% in the darker, winter months.

In addition, the number of break-ins as a result of homeowners being distracted increases to 9%, with examples of this happening when thieves pose as builders and engineers to gain access to properties.

“Generally, less break-ins occur when the clocks go back, what we’re seeing during this time is a trend of home owners relaxing their home security and opportunist thieves striking,” Co-op insurance head of claims, Jonathan Guy, said.

“We are urging people to continue to be vigilant and think carefully about the safety of their property all year round.”

The research involved analysing over 10,000 customer claims since 2014, revealing that the majority of home thefts take place on Fridays, while Tuesday is the least likely day to experience a break-in.

The clocks go forward on Sunday 26 March this year, and with the findings from the study showing an increase of burglaries taking place on Mondays, the day after the clock change could be seen as a good opportunity to thieves.

Neighbourhood Watch chair, Lynn Farrar, warned against being distracted by opportunists, saying: “if people aren’t sure who is at the door, don’t open it. Most genuine callers will have a pre-arranged appointment.

“Also, if you see a neighbour’s home where it seems a window has been left open, a back gate or shed left unlocked for example, check on them and let them know.”

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