Warning over burglary risk as recession deepens

Household burglaries could escalate by 50 per cent as the year draws out, according to Norwich Union. In 2008, More than 280,000 burglaries were reported, according to Home Office statistics, but the insurer predicts that will increase by more than 140,000.

The recession and soaring unemployment levels have been given as the reasons behind the predicted rise. "History shows that when unemployment rises, we also see an increase in crime, and unfortunately the latest Home Office figures show an upward trend in domestic burglary," says Simon Warsop, a Norwich Union spokesman.

Electrical items such as DVDs and games consoles are the preferred targets and account for 62 per cent of all belongings stolen in burglaries. Cameras make up 11 per cent, followed by computers and laptops at 9 per cent.

Despite the gloomy predictions, Norwich Union says that homeowners can take simple security measures such as not leaving valuables on display and getting a neighbour to check on the house and remove post when they are away. Fitting a Nacos-approved burglar alarm can help to deter burglars and can lead to a discount on home insurance policy premiums.