27 October 2019 12:34
Get the biggest money stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email When the clocks go back, burglars come out - using the extra hours of darkness as ideal cover for their crimes. And with Halloween and Bonfire night almost here, not only are homes more likely to be empty of an evening, but they have an ideal excuse to wear disguises to trick CCTV. Adam Beckett, from home insurance firm Aviva, said: "This is a brilliant time of year for celebrations, but as the clocks go back and the nights get longer, it's also a fantastic opportunity for burglars. "The calendar is packed with social events, meaning homes are often left empty as people celebrate, while the cover of darkness gives thieves an added advantage. "Sadly our claims data bears this out as we see more burglaries during this season." (Image: Getty Images/fStop) The good news is there are simple steps you can take to make unwelcome visitors less likely to target your home.
The bad news is new research shows past advice on staying safe might have made things worse. An award-winning piece of research - looking at 20 years' worth of crime data - has shown homes with stand-alone security features, such as security chains or CCTV, are three times more protected against burglary than homes without. And homes with with multiple devices were up to 52 times more protected against burglary than homes without security, according to data from Professor Andromachi Tseloni, of Nottingham Trent University. The best value-for-money way to protect your home was found to be a combination of internal and external lights and locks. But the most shocking part of the figures was that fitting a burglar alarm actually increased the likelihood of you being burgled - even when combined with other security measures. However, getting the basics right is still the most important thing you can do. (Image: Getty) Figures from home insurance firm Neos show more than one person in five (21%) don't check if the windows are closed before leaving and one in eight (13%) don't even lock their front door. Matt Poll, Neos chief executive, said: "There are a number of ways that people can help to prevent incidents this halloween. "Firstly, party goers need to ensure that they properly lock up their property before heading out. "Other precautions such as installing smart security cameras, storing valuable items and making the property look occupied can help to keep homes safe this spooky evening."