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Jewellery tops the ‘shopping’ list of Britain’s burglars

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How to protect your property and valuable items from festive thieves
Jewellery tops the ‘shopping’ list of Britain’s burglars

Jewellery tops the list as the most frequently stolen item from UK homes, followed by cash, sentimental items, laptops and televisions, according to Co-op Insurance.

The insurer said that the average value of items being stolen has increased by almost a third (30%) since 2013.

Completing the top 10 frequently stolen items are records and CDs, games consoles, mobile phones, radios and even alcohol.

Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch are urging people to be extra vigilant, as poor home security and cars filled with gifts can be easy pickings for thieves over the festive period.

Top tips

The Co-op has put together the following tips to help you keep your home and possessions safe this Christmas:

  • Double check windows and doors are closed and securely locked and If you have an alarm, make sure you set it
  • Keep curtains closed when lights are on inside – dark nights make it easier for burglars to work out when a house is unoccupied
  • Keep presents well hidden, even when they’ve been opened and if your Christmas tree is near a window, don’t leave presents under it
  • If you’re heading out Christmas shopping in your car, be sure to leave gifts out of view and locked in the boot
  • Be careful what you post on social media. As tempting as it can be to post about gifts on social media, think carefully who will can see your posts and make sure you check your privacy settings to manage this
  • Discard large cardboard packaging as this can give burglars an idea of what’s inside your house
  • Whilst Christmas shopping remain vigilant and keep your belongings in sight. Busy crowds can be an easy target for pick pockets
  • Check your insurance policy, presents in your home will be covered by your usual contents insurance, but if you’ve bought big ticket items, they may need to be listed separately.
  • Make sure high value items such as gadgets are covered outside of your home as these are not necessarily covered on a standard home insurance policy
  • Check to see your insurance policy covers accidental damage cover so that any breakages to new items such as laptops, or wine spillages over the Christmas period are covered.

Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance at Co-op Insurance, said: “No matter what time of the year, burglary is an extremely upsetting experience. With the festive period being a particularly busy time for lots of us, our homes are often unoccupied whilst visiting family and friends.

“Taking some simple security measures can help reduce the risk of being burgled – for example, make sure presents and valuables are kept out of sight from potential thieves.”

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch, added: “The research shows that many of the items burglars target, are in fact items which people will be giving or receiving this Christmas.

“Over the festive season, we’d encourage people to put extra measures in place to protect properties and belongings – whether that’s disposing of larger packaging boxes at the tip or installing some form of home security camera.”

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