Vandals have defaced or damaged the property of one in ten homeowners, making this growing area of crime a rising insurance concern, Lloyds TSB has warned.
Vandalism rose by 11 per cent in the past year, statistics in the British Crime Survey this week showed.
Meanwhile, more than a fifth of people surveyed by Lloyds TSB said they were worried about the vandalism risk in their area while half thought the growing incidence of vandalism was one of the UK's most pressing social problems.
Perhaps surprisingly, 'light' forms of vandalism such as graffiti made up only 15 per cent of the total number of incidents recorded in police figures for 2006-07, while ransacking of homes made up 41 per cent.
One third of incidents involved smashed windows and 11 per cent damaged garden ornaments.
To cover all the bases, getting full home insurance cover should be a priority for homeowners, commented Lloyds TSB insurance's managing director Phil Loney.
"Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to crime," he observed.
Earlier this month, a study from Insure4Retirement.co.uk found six per cent of British people cited vandalism as a reason for moving abroad.
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