Silhouette of a burglar sneaking through an unlocked door into a home, with light streaming through blinds casting a dramatic shadow, symbolising a home invasion.

Protecting your home should be a top priority in life, particularly as our homes begin to host more family and friends, contain our valuable possessions, and so on. This comes at even higher importance with rising UK break-in cases. Over 267,000 burglaries happen yearly, with a burglary occurring every 106 seconds in the UK. This means roughly 817 burglaries occur across the UK daily, which is a pretty terrifying statistic. To prepare for and prevent a break-in from happening, we must understand how thieves think and operate so we can counter their attempts.

When do burglaries mostly take place?

The breakdown of the times at which burglaries take place is very interesting. You may immediately presume all burglaries happen at night, allowing the thief to enter undetected homes, quietly leaving with valuables. However, over ⅓ of burglaries within the UK actually happen during the day and in plain sight. With the hustle and bustle of city life and the contrasting quietness of rural areas, thieves can now break into homes anytime during the day. Night-time robberies are still the most popular, particularly between midnight to 6 am, when most people are asleep. This timeframe is for residential burglaries. Late evenings are also popular, with 13% of break-ins happening between 10 pm and midnight.

Do criminals care if residents are home?

For a criminal planning a break-in, ensuring no one is home during the attempted break-in would seem logical. It would make sense for criminals to pick a home and study which leaves and enters it at what time to ensure the house is empty before breaking in. However, statistics surprisingly show this is not the case. In 64% of attempted or successful burglaries, a resident has been home during the incident. What’s even more sinister is that 43% of residents were home yet completely unaware that they had been burgled. Whilst this is alarming to hear, first, it makes complete sense. Once inside our homes, our guard is down; we maybe leave a door or window open whilst moving to different rooms throughout the house. This provides thieves with the perfect entry point to our homes. This is more common in houses without any obvious home security system.

Where do burglars gain entry from?

Shockingly, nearly 60% of thieves break in through the front door of a home, not through a window, a side door, or by extreme force. This totally goes against the natural presumption that front doors are too secure to be used by a thief. Most of the time, burglars can discretely damage a lock or walk in through an unlocked door. In only ⅓ of break-ins is the lock was forcibly broken and needs repair. It is quite clear thieves are becoming smarter and stealthier, spotting opportunities to take advantage of homeowners with their guards down and seizing them.