The cost of living crisis looms ever larger in the UK, making people increasingly nervous and sometimes even desperate. This crisis has a number of far-reaching effects, but one of the major ones is reflected in an alarming spike in house break-ins.
Experts warn that the cost of living crisis could have worrying consequences, resulting in this rise in residential burglaries. To understand and prepare for this emerging trend, Alexandra Security is delving into UK break-ins. We’ve obtained data from 43 police forces across the UK to help you understand what is happening in our country.
Below, we will dive into the last 10 years of burglaries, and we’ll answer some questions that are being asked across the UK in relation to the coming spike. We will also look at how you can protect your home from break-ins.
Why are burglaries expected to increase during the cost of living crisis?
The UK has just come out of a global pandemic, a war is being waged on our continent, oil is scarce, and prices just continue to rise. As exported goods become more expensive, so does everything else. From a carton of milk to the fuel needed to heat up homes, everything is getting more expensive and, therefore, more unattainable for those in a lower-income bracket.
These factors all add up to make people more desperate and disillusioned. This, in turn, leads to an increasing number of people turning to crime to make ends meet. With no other honest avenues available, it is not uncommon for even honest people to turn desperate and decide to break into a home to steal the belongings therein.
UK burglaries over the last 10 years
In the last 10 years, UK police forces have recorded 4,661,700 burglaries across the country. This staggering number is not evenly spread between different counties and towns, however, as some areas experience a far higher burglary rate than others.
The region with the highest number of burglaries reported in the last 10 years is the Greater London area. The Metropolitan Police Service reported 886,563 burglaries between 2012 and 2022. Therefore, it is surprising that the City of London had the lowest recorded break-in rate in the country, at just 3,074 burglaries in the same period.
The second lowest burglary rate was reported by the Dyfed-Powys Police, which safeguards the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. This is more in line with the expected trend, as these counties are rural and experience fewer break-ins. These counties had only 17169 reported burglaries in the last 10 years.
What month has the highest burglary rate?
Over the last 10 years, January has been the month that sees the most break-ins. An average of 25,021 burglaries are reported in the first month of the year.
With the festive season right behind, people often get more desperate at this time of the year, as funds are particularly low. This comes after the period of buying Christmas presents, food, drinks, and of course, this year, the cost of living crisis.
With basics like heat and electricity soaring in price, we can expect burglaries to soar at a similar rate. People will be even more desperate than usual, and this will likely result in more non-violent crimes.
As January is the month in which your home is most likely to be broken into in the UK, now is the time to act if your security solution needs updating.
What month has the lowest burglary rate?
The summer months tend to bring a little more prosperity along with the warmth. People have less need for heating systems, resulting in a little more disposable income. For this reason, the UK reports that the month with the lowest house break-in rate is August.
Even after Covid-19, this last August had only 175 reported house burglaries. This is surprising, as experts expected that people would be more desperate after Covid-19. However, there is still an expectation that financial stresses will soon spike these numbers, especially as we enter winter.
How can you improve your home security?
The best strategy for equipping yourself against this upcoming trend is to improve your household security. Alexandra Security has over 20 years of experience in the security industry, so they have provided five tips to help you improve your home safety measures:
- Install an automatic gate: This indicates that you have several security measures in place, and it is hard to climb over.
- Light up your home: Exterior lighting ensures that burglars are visible, which makes it harder for them to break in and get away.
- Install burglar bars on windows: This is a low-cost, high-impact security system which prevents thieves from entering through windows.
- Invest in new fencing: Weak or damaged fencing can be easily overcome, so it is important to ensure your fencing is replaced if needed.
- Automated Curtains and Blinds: If you are often away from your home, opening and closing your curtains remotely or automatically will give the impression that you are home. As robbers generally do reconnaissance before deciding on a house, and it’s riskier breaking into an occupied house, this is a great deterrence.