Dark evenings mean more opportunist burglaries

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Burglaries in the dark of winter increased by 20 per cent last year, according to Halifax Insurance.

The insurer has also reported that London is the prime spot for burglaries, followed by Leeds and Manchester and the average cost of being burgled is over £2,000.

Senior claims manager Martyn Foulds said; "We tend to see burglary claims start to rise around this time of year, and with the average burglary claim now reaching over £2,000, it is certainly worthwhile taking some simple and cost-effective measures to avoid becoming an easy target."

Mr Foulds added that although home insurance would cover financial losses, family heirlooms and items of sentimental value cannot be replaced.

The insurer has advised homeowners to take standard precautions such as using window locks, keeping valuables out of site and planting prickly hedges to deter thieves.

Meanwhile, South Yorkshire Police have said that the best ways to avoid being burgled are to make use of light timer switches and to ensure all windows and doors and secured.

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