Burglars cash in as clocks go back

Longer nights and the clocks going back will mean a spike in burglaries

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Burglar as clocks go back

Burglars will be celebrating now that the clocks have gone back. The nights drawing in have already given them longer dark nights in which to operate, and now with the changing of the clocks, they have plenty of hours of darkness to exploit before people arrive home from work in the evenings too.

Halifax Home Insurance says there is a spike of claims in winter. Martyn Foulds, senior claims manager, Halifax Insurance, said: "Winter claims last year cost 12% more than summer, as thieves on the hunt for an easy target use cover of darkness to their advantage." Halifax customers made 2,832 burglary claims last winter, for a total of more than £20 million. The average claim was for £1,727.

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Protect your home

Foulds says this means it's essential to make a particular effort to secure your home at this time of year. There are ten tips worth following:

1. Keep doors and windows locked, even when you are at home.

2. Install security lights, which will alert you to people approaching the house.

3. Consider a gravel driveway so you can hear people coming to the house too.

4. Have a British standard approved burglar alarm installed, and always set it when leaving your home unoccupied and at night. If you can afford a system with a direct link to the police it is a great investment.

5. Keep tools and ladders that can be used to break in to the home locked away.

6. Protect the boundaries of your home - consider high walls, spiky railings and prickly bushes around your garden to keep people out.

7. Don't leave a key hidden anywhere around your property for emergencies - burglars know where to look.

8. If you're going away, set timer switches on lights to make it less obvious that the house is empty.

9. While you are away, ask a trusted friend or neighbour to check in and collect any mail, as piles of letters can be a clue that there is nobody around.

10. Don't be too open about your location on social media - especially if you are gong to be away from home for a while. It doesn't take much to find your address and take advantage of your absence.

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