Norwich Union research shows New Year's Eve is top target for burglars

11 December 2006
Homes are more likely to be burgled on New Year's Eve than any other day, according to Norwich Union. Norwich Union claims data, collected between 1988 and 2005, shows that we are 25% per cent more likely to be victims of burglary on December 31st than at any other time as thieves make the most of empty houses full of Christmas gifts while homeowners are out partying the night away.

Top on the list of items stolen from houses last Christmas were mobiles phones, closely followed by iPods and MP3 players, Sat-Nav systems and digital cameras. The 5th top steal was game consoles, then laptops, TVs, designer watches pocket PCs and Blackberries. Number 10 on the list were new CDs, DVDs and games.

The fact that houses are full of expensive items at Christmas time pushes the cost of right up. The average burglary claim last Christmas was £1,200 - £350 higher than on a normal day, so Norwich Union is urging homeowners to take extra security precautions this year.

Jason Harris, senior claims manager at Norwich Union said: “Of course everyone wants to put their presents under the tree for Christmas but before the big day ensure they’re tucked away somewhere safe and not in full view to every passer-by. The attic or loft is a good hiding place for presents – your average burglar doesn’t have time to climb into your attic and it’s also safe from excited children desperate to get a sneak preview of what they can expect on Christmas morning. And at New Year make sure you double check your home before you embark on your night on the town – you don’t want to begin 2007 with a burglary.”

Norwich Union offers five top tips to a safe and burglary free Christmas:

• Don’t leave gift boxes in your dustbin - it gives thieves clues about what they might find in your home. Try and break them up and put them in bags.

• If you’re out on New Year’s Eve, leave lights on, ensure all doors and windows are securely locked and expensive gifts not in full view

• Avoid leaving the keys in the lock inside when double locking – this will prevent burglars using the hook and cane method through your letterbox

• Install a burglar alarm

• Fit a motion sensor light which will work at any time whether you are in or out of the house.

"Because of all the extra items in the home over Christmas, Norwich Union gives an extra £3,000 worth of contents cover over the festive period," continues Mr harris. "But remember to consider all new gifts when it comes to renewing your home insurance in the New Year. That wide-screen TV may have just tipped your contents insurance over its limit!"

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