Tonight is reportedly the worst when it comes to crime, with more break-ins and burglaries than on any other night of the year, so Norwich Union is urging homeowners to lock up their valuables and make sure they have sufficient home insurance to cover the Christmas presents.
Thieves seize on the opportunity of houses full of expensive new gifts and gadgets such as iPods, Nintendo Wiis and DVDs, while everyone's out welcoming in the New Year, but some people do not get around to updating their home insurance policy, leaving themselves vulnerable to considerable financial loss, or simply depriving the family of their new presents if they can't afford to replace them.
Norwhich Union's research has revealed that on December 31, homes are 25 per cent more likely to get burgled than on any other day in the year, as thieves cash in on high value items and the distraction of New Year's Eve to keep people away from their homes, issuing a stark warning to households that are complacent about their home insurance
Based on the latest gadgets which have come out this year and their analysis of last year's thefts, Norwich Union has compiled a thieves' wish list for tonight, which includes the new iPod Nano, the new Apple Macbook range, and Nintendo Wiis, along with the usual haul of mobile phones, DVDs, CDs, jewellery and cameras.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are days of rest even for thieves, accounting for two of the year's lowest crime rates, but when they do strike they take an average steal worth £1,600.
And it's not just dangers from outside the home that can cause strife at this time of year, Norwich Union
warns, as Christmas tree lights, wrapping paper, candles and hot ovens combine to make the festive season the worst time of the year for fires in the home, with claims soaring by 140 per cent.
"Of course Christmas is a time of celebration and protecting against crime is probably the last thing on your mind, but we would urge everyone to try and remember a few basic security measures when you are out partying." said Greg Gladwell, director of Norwich Union home insurance
He added that "while the spirits may be high on December 31st don't forget to lock up the house behind you otherwise you might find someone else will be enjoying all your new gifts!"
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