Neighbourhood Watch advice as thefts spike after clocks go forward

The advent of summer time signifies a spike in opportunist thefts according to claims data provided by Neighbourhood Watch sponsor Co-op Insurance which, based on claims data from 2018, reveal a 37 per cent surge in opportunistic thefts after the clocks go forward.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 5:47 pm

Ian Kershaw, head of claims at Co-op Insurance, said: “What we’re seeing during this time is a trend of home-owners relaxing their home security and opportunist thieves striking.”

Opportunistic thefts where entry was not forced made up a third of claims after the clocks went forward last year, compared with a quarter in the winter months when burglars often force entry under cover of darkness.

Co-op Insurance said opportunistic crimes can happen when windows and doors are left open as temperatures increase, or when items such as bikes or gardening equipment are left outside.

Neighbourhood watch

Claims data also showed one case in nine was a distraction theft – for example, thieves posing as builders or engineers to gain access to a property.

The report said it is important to look out for vulnerable neighbours.

John Hayward-Cripps, chief executive of the Neighbourhood Watch Network, said: “Our advice is – if people aren’t sure who is at the door, don’t open it. Most genuine callers will have a pre-arranged appointment.

“Also, if you see a neighbour’s home where it seems a window has been left open or a back gate or shed left unlocked, for example, check on them and let them know.”

Meanwhile, Action Fraud has received reports about fake emails that purport to be from Virgin Media.

The emails threaten the recipient with automatic disconnection due to invalid billing information. The links in the emails lead to genuine-looking phishing websites designed to steal your Virgin Media account login details.

The Tarring Neighbourhood Forum meets at the West Tarring Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring on Tuesday at 7pm.

• Tim Drew is the secretary and press officer for the Worthing Neighbourhood Watch Association. For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.


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