8 clever tricks to reduce YOUR risk of being burgled this winter, revealed by criminologist

8 clever tricks to reduce YOUR risk of being burgled this winter, revealed by criminologist

October 14, 2021

THE start of the winter months brings fond feelings for many – with cozy nights by the fire and Christmas joy around the corner.

But, the colder weather also spells shorter daylight hours and the increased darkness can lead to burglary concerns.

Leading criminologist Professor David Wilson said that while Brits shouldn't be "afraid of the dark", there are some ways people can feel more secure.

His top tips for safety include: keep a mobile phone handy when out-and-about in the dark, don't leave car keys by a table near the front door and don't leave your car in a carpark without lighting

While many assume their homes are most at risk when staying away with family – or when they're asleep – Professor Wilson says otherwise.

He told the Sun: "Statistically, you are most likely to be burgled in the 28 days after you were first burgled. Because what have you done in those 28 days?

"You have put a claim in your house insurance, and you have all the boxes telling them you have a new TV.

"And the burglar knows how to get into your house."

He added: "There is statistically no reason why you should be afraid of the dark but we all have to consider how we act."

Professor Wilson said the relationship between Brits and the police is an "interpersonal issue" – adding: "I wouldn't park my car in a carpark with no lighting. 

"I have a daughter who is in her mid-20s. She works at a hospital and works varied hours.

"I always say 'give me a call when you leave'. And I say "keep your mobile phone handy'."


  • Call a loved one when you leave somewhere;
  • Keep a mobile phone handy;
  • If you are a burglary victim, don't put the rubbish out straight afterwards as it shows what new items you bought to replace the stolen ones;
  • Don't leave car keys by a table near the front door;
  • Leave the radio on in the kitchen when asleep or out and about;
  • Don't leave a car in a carpark without lighting.

But he insisted that the phrase "don't be afraid of the dark" is redundant and outdated – and stressed that crimes actually decrease in winter as more people are at home, which reduces break-ins.

He added: "Of course there are increases closer to Christmas.

"There is a temptation to steal as there are items in homes that burglars might want.

"People have their windows open, they can see presents under the tree."

Professor Wilson added that he leaves a radio on overnight, so voices and noise can be heard by crooks.

Methods to prevent break-ins frequently cited online include working alarms, secure front and back doors and a functioning deadlock.

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