Credit Crunch Limits Looting

AA Insurance predicts a 'thief's recession' this Christmas

11 December 2008

It's not just Britain's workers that will feel the effects of the Credit Crunch this Christmas. Britain's burglars are facing an economic downturn too with AA Insurance predicting there will be fewer home insurance claims for theft this Christmas than in previous years.

Previously, one in ten (10%) have fallen victim to burglary over the festive period1 but with more than half (51%) of us spending less on gifts, food and drink, and two thirds (65%) of Brits staying at home to save money this year, it could be much tougher for would-be burglars to break in making it a very 'Unmerry' Christmas for festive felons.

Yet while the nation may be splashing out less on gifts, AA Insurance nevertheless estimates the average increase in value of added possessions and gifts in the home over Christmas will be £6702 while the average family plan to spend £1303 on extra food and drink.

Comment

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance comments: "Despite the cuts in VAT and inflation, it's shaping up to be a somewhat more frugal Christmas this year. And although in times of economic downturn burglaries tend to increase, it seems that with fewer holidays being taken and less expensive possessions in the house, there could be fewer opportunities and incentives for thieves to strike.

"Yet it would be careless to assume you are untouchable," Simon Douglas points out. "You will still be taking shopping trips and leaving your home unoccupied which will provide opportunities for determined criminals."

To ensure thieves don't make the most of your Christmas keep yourself protected. Beware of suspicious characters loitering around your property and make sure you lock your doors and windows whenever you leave the house – even if it's just to offer your neighbour a mince pie and a kiss under the mistletoe. And make sure you keep your house keys well away from the front door to avoid the risk of thieves 'fishing' them through the letter box.

Factfile

1Festive period: 20th December to 2nd January
2Estimated value of extra worth of possessions in the home this Christmas - £669.40
3Estimated value of extra food and drink in the home this Christmas - £127.68

Findings based on two surveys of 1000 people by One Poll, December 2008.

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11 December 2008