Householders are being warned to be vigilant as the clocks go back this weekend, as it tends to see a spike in break-ins to homes and cars.
Friday is the most likely day of the week for thefts to occur during the winter months, according to Co-op Insurance.
After analysing thousands of customer claims since 2013, Co-op Insurance found that home theft claims jump by 36% in the five months after the clocks go back compared with the five months beforehand.
The clocks go back on Sunday as the UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time instead of British Summer Time.
The winter nights make it easier for burglars to hide under the cover of darkness and unoccupied houses are easier to spot if they do not have lights on.
According to the Co-op data, home thefts between November and March are more likely to involve forced entry than in the summer months.
Thefts which are more opportunistic or deceptive and non-forcible tend to be more common in the summer, when people may have left windows or doors open.
Motor insurance claims including thefts of or from cars also increase by 6% when BST ends, Co-op Insurance found.
Analysts found that in addition to more difficult driving conditions such as icy or wet roads, claims increase due to drivers forgetting to turn their lights on, badly maintained vehicles and windscreens cracking, for example if someone has tried to defrost a frozen windscreen with boiling water.
Jonathan Guy, head of claims at Co-op Insurance, said: "Unfortunately darker nights lead to more burglaries and we are urging people to be vigilant and think carefully about both their own and their property's safety."
He continued: "We actually spoke to a number of reformed burglars last year and they said that motion-activated security lights are most likely to put would-be burglars off, with 26% steering clear of homes with these installed, so this could be a good investment if you don't have one already."
Lynn Farrar, chairwoman of Neighbourhood Watch, said: "The very best thing you can do to stop yourself being a burglary victim is to make your house look occupied when you go out.
"We recommend fitting window locks, leaving inside lights on a timer so your house isn't in darkness, fitting double or dead bolts on your doors and installing an outside light on a sensor."
Here are some tips from Co-op Insurance to protect your home from burglary:
- Leave a light on when you are out or invest in a light timer
- Install exterior security lights at the front and back of your property
- Do not post your whereabouts on social media
- Ensure outbuildings and sheds are secured
- Do not leave valuables on display
- Never leave car keys within easy reach of a letterbox
- Do not leave ladders outside your home
Victims of scams and fraud
Victims of scams and fraud
Susan Tollefsen, Britain's oldest first time mother, was scammed out of £160,000 by a fraudster she met on an online dating site. A man claiming to be an Italian gold and diamond dealer told her he was in the middle of a land deal but couldn't access cash. Tollefsen felt sorry for him and started wiring him money, eventually selling her jewellery, her flat and borrowing £32,000 from friends to give him. Read the full story here.
In March 2015 an American woman who was only identified as 'Sarah' went on the popular US television programme the Dr Phil Show to reveal she had sent $1.4 million to a man that she had never met. Although she was certain she wasn't being scammed, her cousin made her go on the programme because she was convinced it was a scam. Find out more about the story here.
Maggie Surridge employed Lee Slocombe to lay a £350 deck in her garden in March 2015. However Slocombe used a combination of lies to scam Surridge out of thousands of pounds. He told Surridge that the front and back walls were dangerous and needed rebuilding and also conned her into building a porch, all for the cost of £8,500. Read the full story here.
It's not just individuals who can be the victims of scams, big corporations can also fall foul of these fraudulent practices. In 2015 Claire Dunleavy repeatedly used a 7p 'reduced' sticker to get significant amounts of money off her shopping at an Asda store in Burslem, ending up with her paying just £15.66 for a shop that should have cost £69.02. Read the full story here.
Sylvia Kneller, 76, was conned out of £200,000 over the space of 56 years thanks to scam mail. The pensioner became addicted to responding to the fraudsters, convinced that she would one day win a fortune. Ms Kneller would receive letters claiming she had won large sums of money but she needed to send processing fees to claim her prize. Learn about the full story here.
Leslie Jubb, 103, became Britain's oldest scam victim in August last year when he was conned out of £60,000 after being sent an endless stream of catalogues promising prizes in return for purchasing overpriced goods. The extent of this con was discovered when Mr Jubb temporarily moved into a care home and his family discovered what he had lost. Find out more about this story here.
Stephen Cox won more than £100,000 on the National Lottery in 2003 but has been left with nothing after falling victim to two conmen. The 63-year-old was pressured into handing over £60,000 to the men who told him his roof needed fixing. They walked him into banks and building societies persuading him to part with £80,000 of cash while doing no work in return. See the full story here.
Last year the Metropolitan Police released CCTV footage of a woman who had £250 stolen at a cash machine in Dagenham. The scam involved two men distracting the woman at the machine, pressing the button for £250 then taking the money and running away. Read about the full story here.
Rebecca Ferguson shot to fame as a runner up on the X-Factor in 2010 but fell victim to a scam artist last year when someone she had believed to be a friend conned her out of £43,000. Rachel Taylor befriended the singer in 2012 and claimed to be a qualified accountant, so Ferguson allowed her to look after her finances. Instead of doing this Taylor stole £43,000 from the Liverpudlian singer. Read more here.
When Rebecca Lewis discovered her fiance had started a relationship with a woman he met online she packed her bags to leave. But that didn't stop her checking out the mystery woman, Rebecca quickly realised Paul Rusher's new love was actually part of a romance scam. She told Paul just before he sent the scammers £2,000 which was supposed to bring his new girlfriend to England. Find the full story here.