Christmas crime hotspots: Empty retail buildings and construction sites

Published:  13 December, 2018

Thefts and burglaries are expected to surge during the festive period, with empty construction sites and retail buildings at particular risk.

VPS Security provides protection for vacant commercial, retail and residential properties and construction sites.

It analysed crime statistics that show that over the past three years, thefts burglaries and robberies rose by 20% in England and Wales over the Christmas fortnight, when businesses shut and often leave valuable items inside.

A spokesperson for VPS Security said: "Rather than warning people after the event, when this year's data becomes available, we thought it would be 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."

Last December, every day of the Christmas fortnight reported an average of 448 burglaries, 65 robberies and 1,082 thefts.

In the Christmas fortnight 2016-17, the number of robberies rose from 770 to 918, an increase of 20% compared to the previous year, and burglaries rose from 5254 to 6,279, an increase of 13.5% compared to the previous year. In the same period, thefts were up 22% to more than 15,000 compared to 12,398 the previous year.

And according to the Chartered Institute of Building, which published a guide  to construction site security last month, 92% of construction sites experienced theft last year.

VPS Security recommends the guide on preventing burglaries in vacant buildings.

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