Halloween Horrors ....

As British Summertime finally draws to a close homeowners are being warned to beware Halloween hooliganism and bonfire night burglaries as latest statistics show that when the clocks go back crime goes up.

Avoid the Wrong Kind of Fireworks

With British Summer Time drawing to a close, new research has discovered that burglaries rose by 26% in the week surrounding last October's clock change compared with the weekly average for the rest of 2010. This is supported by ten years of Aviva claims data which shows a 28% increase in burglary claims on Bonfire Night, making it the worst night of the year for break-ins.

Rob Townend, property claims director at Aviva says, "Shorter days present more opportunities for criminals to work under cover of darkness. On Bonfire Night in particular, many people are out of the house at public displays or at parties and the noise of fireworks provides a distraction and means that suspicious sounds such as smashing glass aren't heard."

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Halloween also presents a threat to homeowners as tricks take a more sinister turn. Ten years of Aviva claims data shows a rise of 150% in malicious damage claims to the home with damage to cars rising by 50% and car thefts also increasing by 20%. Common Halloween claims include smashed windows, vandalism to vehicles and damage to garden property.

Rob Townend, property claims director at Aviva says, "Unfortunately, the combination of darker nights and a mischievous occasion like Halloween or a noisy one like Bonfire Night present too good an opportunity for some criminals to resist. These are real hotspots in the crime calendar when homes and cars can be more at risk than any other time in the year.

However, simple measures can help to minimise the risk such putting the car in the garage if you have one, tidy up any loose garden items or ornaments so they are not used to cause damage and make your house look occupied if you are going out by leaving lights on and of course make sure all doors and windows are securely locked.

Remember Remember... Top tricks to avoid being targeted by criminals:

  • Put the car in the garage or tucked out of the way for the night
  • Move any garden ornaments, potted plants or bikes from the front or side of your house and out of sight
  • Don't feel you have to answer your door, to trick or treaters, if you don't want to.
  • Leave the radio and the odd light on when you're out during the winter to give the appearance of someone being home
  • Ensure sheds, garages and other out-buildings have robust locks
  • If you enjoying a firework party in the garden, make sure your front doors and windows are shut and locked.

Source: Aviva

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