Christmas is the busiest time of year for retailers, emergency services and… thieves.
Insurance group Aviva has revealed that the festive period sees a spike in the amount of reported burglaries.
Between October and December 2018, there were 9,347 more burglaries than between July and September.
Susan Sansom, Head of Operations, Aviva UKGI Claims, says: “We see an increase in home theft claims when the nights become longer – it seems that thieves take advantage of the cover of darkness.
“However, we also know that even burglars tend to take a day off for Christmas.
“Our data shows that theft claims on December 25, 2018, were 95% lower than on a typical day during the year.”
And the insurer has revealed which parts of the home are the most popular hiding spots, and how many people hide gifts there.
- Cupboards/drawers – 29%
- Spare bedroom – 26%
- Nowhere typical/variety of places – 19%
- Under the bed – 17%
- Loft/basement – 15%
- Friend’s/relative’s house – 10%
- Garage – 6%
- Conservatory – 3%
The insurance group is advising people to put gifts in ‘crafty hiding places’ and take extra security measures to prevent theft.
This includes hiding gifts on top of wardrobes, at a friend or relative’s house or inside suitcases.
For securing your home, Aviva recommends installing a home security alarm.
In a survey, 9% of people used ‘beware of the dog signs’, while 13% fitted extra locks and 10% opted for security cameras.
Aviva also urges people to make it look like someone is inside, by locking doors and leaving the lights on.
If going away for Christmas, a trusted neighbour could keep an eye on the property.
Insuring valuable gifts is also another measure to take in case of a burglary.
Gifts may not already be insured on your home insurance, so it’s worth checking first.