Gifts at Risk This Festive Period
Make sure you deny thieves festive cheer this Christmas during peak burglary season
While there might be pressure on purse strings at the moment, Brits are determined to enjoy the festive season this year. We’ve commissioned research that has found the average person is shelling out an extra £560 on Christmas shopping and entertainment, on top of their normal spending. However, it seems that this extra spend is causing its own anxiety, as while Christmas shoppers are proving to be savvy they’re also getting stressed out.
One the one hand, shoppers are being sensible with the majority planning ahead to spread the cost of Christmas over the preceding months – just 2% are leaving everything to a last minute Christmas Eve dash. Yet our research has found that there is up to £10.7bn worth of Christmas gifts at risk over the festive period, which seems to be turning us into a nation of ‘festive fretters’.
Over a third (36%) of people worry about presents being lost or stolen before the big day, yet only one in ten people (11%) are taking extra precautions to safeguard their homes. And this is all despite November and December being peak burglary season, with around 84,500 burglaries occurring every year.
With all this in mind, we’ve put together some top tips to help make sure your homes are protected from intruders this winter. While Christmas is a time for festive joy and goodwill, it’s also prime season for the opportunist thief, so it’s important that we all remain vigilant throughout the holiday period.
Top tips for keeping your home safe this Christmas:
Whenever you go out, whether for a full day’s Christmas shopping or just throwing snowballs in the back garden, be sure to lock all your doors, windows, sheds and outbuildings
Keep your presents out of sight, especially in ground floor rooms; if putting presents under your tree, make sure that they are not visible through ground-floor windows
Leave the radio or the odd light on and consider leaving lights on a timer to come on automatically; Christmas lights alone won’t act as a deterrent
If you have a burglar alarm, don’t forget to set it every time you leave the house
Don’t leave a door key under the mat, beneath a plant pot etc. No matter how well it’s hidden, don’t make it easy for intruders
Where possible, organise for a trusted neighbour, friend or family member to check on your property during your absence – ideally moving mail build up, and tidying away bins to minimise any clues that the property is empty. This is crucial over the festive period, when thieves are seeking out vacant properties
Be extra vigilant on social media – don’t announce that you are going away for an extended period and be careful when talking about expensive presents you have received – why give thieves this helpful information?
Once Christmas presents are opened, don’t leave discarded boxes lying around outside your home – they allow would-be thieves to see what valuable items are waiting inside
Try not to store gifts outside of the house (i.e. in outbuildings and cars) as they are at higher risk of getting stolen
Research commissioned by Quotemehappy.com and conducted by Opinium among 2,019 UK adults online between 2nd and 5th November 2012.
 £10.7bn worth of presents at risk: Opinium Research showed that the average Christmas shopper spends £243 on presents and cards. According to ONS (2012) the adult population of England and Wales stands at 44,197,743 giving national spending on Christmas presents a cumulative value of up to £10.7bn.
 UKCrimeStats figures put the number of homes burgled in England and Wales during November and December last year at 84,555.