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Light up your home - avoid becoming a victim of burglary

You drive to work with your lights on, you drive home with your lights on…but do you light up your home when you go out?

With the nights rapidly drawing in, it’s the easiest time of year to spot who’s in and who’s out. Sadly, that’s great news for burglars.

We often see a spike at this time of the year as criminals cash-in on obviously empty homes during the darker nights.

By following a few simple steps, you can help prevent becoming a victim.

It may sound like stating the obvious, but locking up and shutting windows can go a long way to keeping the burglars out. Our statistics show that most break-ins are committed by opportunist thieves, and in a quarter of cases they didn’t even have to use force to gain entry.

Even if you are just popping to a neighbours, make sure you bolt up behind you.

As darkness descends earlier, leaving a light on or using a light timer when you are out can act as an effective deterrent.

cartoon street with only one house in darkness

Top security tips

  • A well-lit home gives the impression someone is in
  • Use timer switches to turn lights on when you are out
  • Save energy and money with low-energy light bulbs
  • Lock windows and doors and keep gates and side entrances well secured
  • Don’t leave car keys or valuables near windows, doors or letterboxes, where burglars can reach through to steal them
  • Invest in external lighting

We urge you to property mark your valuables and make the details viewable to the police by registering them on . You can register your belongings for free, improving the chance of getting them back if they are lost or stolen.

Important: If you suspect you are being burgled, you must call 999 straight away and wait in a safe place for help to arrive. Do not enter your property if there is a chance the suspect is still inside.

What is burglary?

A person commits burglary when they enter part of a building as a trespasser with the intention of:

  • Causing damage
  • Inflicting serious injury
  • Committing theft

The burglary doesn't have to occur in just a house itself. Reports of thefts from gardens, outbuildings, sheds and garages are an issue too – particularly in rural areas - and will also be treated as burglary.

Did you know: Burglaries can occur in permanent and temporary structures, not just houses and business premises.

What to do if you discover a burglary

If you do enter the property or you discover the burglary once inside:

  • Do not move items which have been touched or moved, especially around the area where the burglar entered.
  • Do not cover obvious marks.
  • Try not to walk on floors the offender walked on.

Although you may be tempted to do all of the above, by following the advice you can help to preserve evidence which may help catch the suspect.

Report it

If the burglary is in progress then you should call 999 immediately.

If you discover a burglary has already occurred, you can report it to us online or by calling 101.