General Insurance Article - Lockdowns cut thefts by 40 percent

Thefts fell by 40 percent during lockdown while the nation stayed at home and were better able to guard their belongings. Data from insurer Urban Jungle shows big drops in theft claims during the UK’s two main lockdowns.

 During the UK’s first lockdown, which began in March 2020, claims for theft fell by 40 percent when compared to the previous three months.

 A similar pattern emerged at the start of 2021, when theft claims fell by 35 percent during a period when restrictions were in place.
 Urban Jungle CEO Jimmy Williams says there is little doubt lockdowns have impacted the nature of crime in the UK.

 “Thieves look for easy targets and there have simply been fewer opportunities while we all stayed at home.

 "If people are out less, they are less likely to lose their mobiles or wallets to criminals who patrol bars and cafes searching for unguarded items.

 "Also, when people are home more often, it’s much harder to break in and steal things."

 However, Williams says he expects the drop in thefts won’t last for long.

 “I expect thieves will be aiming to return to a ‘new normal’ along with the rest of us. Once people are circulating more freely and being a little less guarded I’d expect to see a rise in thefts."

 Williams says thieves adapt very quickly to changes in society and are always looking for new targets.

 “Once lockdown restrictions were lifted last year we saw a rise in claims for stolen mobiles, often taken from outdoor tables while people are ordering food and drink.

 “Someone had made their order, or logged on to a QR code and then left their phone on the table - that’s when the thieves moved in.”

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