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Property: NI records one of the lowest burglary rates in the UK but 1,029 break-ins still occurred during lockdown

New data from UK CrimeStats has revealed that Northern Ireland has one of the lowest burglary rates in the UK, with 2.75 burglaries per 1,000 people reported here in the last 12 months.

The UK was divided into twelve regions and Northern Ireland - counting as one region - saw the third lowest burglary rate anywhere in the UK. By contrast, South Yorkshire had the highest burglary rate during the same period, with 10.29 burglaries.

The figures show that from July 2018 to June 2019 there were 5,990 burglaries of residential properties reported in Northern Ireland, but from July 2019 to June 2020 this dropped to 5,457 burglaries - an 8.9 per cent fall.

A full breakdown of burglaries per council area shows that the highest reported burglaries were recorded in Belfast, Newry, Mourne and Down and Antrim and Newtownabbey - with fewer incidences recorded Mid-Ulster, Ards and North Down and Causeway Coasts and Glens.

Worryingly, during the depths of the lockdown - from April to June 2020 - burglaries were still occurring surprisingly frequently, with a monthly average of 343 burglaries - a total of 1,029 across the lockdown period.

Responding to the new data, Greg Wilson, founder of CompareNI.com, says: “It won’t come as a surprise to learn that 2020 has seen a significant fall in the number of burglaries, with the lockdown and working from home serving as a significant deterrent, but it is also very encouraging that Northern Ireland, lockdown aside, is in the top three safest places in the UK.

“However, the fact that 1,029 burglaries still occurred during lockdown (April-June 2020), even when Stormont’s most stringent quarantine measures were in place, highlights that break-ins remain a very real risk for homeowners and tenants alike.

“Some policyholders might be a little more inclined to forgo home insurance now that they’re home more often, but this data makes it clear that the risks a good home insurance policy will protect you against haven’t gone away. Plus it may be a mandatory requirement from your mortgage provider, to ensure their investment is protected. 

“Remember to always double check doors and windows are locked when leaving your property or going to bed, set security alarms when necessary, keep valuables out of sight, apply light timers when off on holiday to make it seem like the property is occupied, and ask anyone entering your house for professional reasons for ID. 

“If the worst happens and your home is burgled, make sure to report it to the police and your insurance provider immediately, touch and walk around as little as possible and warn/ask neighbours for their support. It also helps if you have photos or an itemised list of any items of note in or on your property – as this may help speed up the home insurance claims process.”

Other notable statistics included 2,856 vehicle crimes and 780 bicycle thefts in Northern Ireland. 

For advice or information on how to protect these items, visit CompareNI.com, covering home, car and bicycle insurance.

The research presented by UK CrimeStats – a leading crime data research and analysis platform - covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland and gathers data based on reported crimes only.

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