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Christmas crime surge warning

The UK can expect a surge in thefts, burglaries and robberies over the Christmas fortnight, based on the evidence of the past three years, says a vacant property protection company. Overall, the figures rose 20pc during this time according to VPS Security, which provides protection for vacant commercial, retail and residential properties, construction and utility sites.

Crime statistics provided via Freedom of Information Act requests last December showed that each day of the holidays crooks committed an average of 448 burglaries, 65 robberies and 1,082 thefts. The total number of thefts over that festive period recorded in England and Wales climbed from 5,524 in the financial year 2015 to 2016 to 6,278 in 2016/17.

Robberies increased by 20 per cent from 770 in 2015/16 to 918 in 2016/17, Meanwhile thefts were up 22 per cent to more than 15,000 over last year’s holiday compared to 12,398 the previous.

VPS said that rather than warning people after the event, when this year’s data becomes available, they thought it would better to remind people of the data from last Christmas, so that they can be better prepared. Properties without security are up to five times more likely to be affected by these crimes, and vacant properties in particular are prime targets for thieves and trespassers, the firm added. Visit www.vpsgroup.com.

For police advice to deter burglary visit the official police.uk website.


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