National crime statistics released today show an increase in domestic burglaries - many of us still don’t lock our front door: new research.

20th April 2011 – Home Office statistics released today highlight that domestic burglaries are up 14%*. Experts say that this could increase throughout the summer months as the weather starts to warm up and people venture into their gardens or leave their windows open. New research from Ageas Insurance shows that just under one in two adults (47%) don’t lock their front door as a rule when they are at home. And that’s when sneak-in crimes can happen. More than one in ten (13%) only ever lock their front door at bedtime.**

Ageas also recently unveiled statistics highlighting that homes across the UK display on average £1223 of valuables such as TV’s, other electronic goods, antiques and works of art that are clearly displayed for would-be burglars to see through home windows. Nearly one in five people (18%) said that as much as £2,000 or more worth of valuables could be seen by a passer-by looking through a window. One in three people (35%) said that valuables worth more than £1000 could be seen.**

Mark Cliff, Managing Director of Ageas Insurance said: ‘It’s often wrongly assumed that many household burglaries are committed while homes are empty. But canny burglars know that many people assume that by being at home, they themselves are a deterrent and so they take fewer precautions. But an unlocked front door or window can be an open invitation to a burglar while the occupier is distracted by spending time in the garden. With so few people routinely securing their home while they are there it’s no wonder that so many thefts are committed without a forced entry. It’s not about turning your home into a fortress but simply getting into the habit of locking doors and windows, regardless of the period of time the house or room is unattended.’

Roy Rudham, Chairman of UK Neighbourhood Watch Trust, which gets 15,000 visits to its website each day said: ‘People should treat their homes like they treat their cars – don’t leave valuables on show, lock the doors and make sure you are insured.  If you were to lock your home how easy would it be for you to get in? If you can easily gain entry, then a burglar will be in a lot faster than you.’

Ageas has teamed up with The Neighbourhood Watch Trust to provide top tips to reducing the likelihood of becoming a target for burglars, downloadable at

Ageas UK (formerly Fortis UK) is a leading provider of award-winning Personal, Commercial and Protection insurance solutions in the UK. Ageas UK distributes both its Non-Life and Life products through a range of channels including brokers, IFAs, intermediaries, affinity partners and the Internet, as well as through its retail strategy via its wholly or partially-owned companies (Ageas Insurance Solutions, Ageas Protect, Castle Cover, Kwik Fit Insurance Services, RIAS, Tesco Underwriting and Text2Insure). 

Insuring around 8 million customers and working with a range of partners, Ageas is recognised for delivering consistent and high-quality customer experiences. It employs over 4,500 people with a head office based in Eastleigh and others based in Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Glasgow, Gloucester, London, Reigate and Stoke-on-Trent.

Ageas is an international insurance company with a heritage spanning more than 180 years. Ranked among the top 20 insurance companies in Europe, Ageas has chosen to concentrate its business activities in Europe and Asia, which together make up the largest share of the global insurance market. They are grouped around four segments: Belgium, United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia. It is an undisputed leader in the Belgian market for individual life and employee benefits, as well as a leading non-life player, through AG Insurance. Internationally Ageas has a strong presence in the UK, where it is the second largest player in private car insurance. The company also has subsidiaries in France, Germany and Hong Kong. Ageas has a track record in developing partnerships with strong financial institutions and key distributors in different markets around the world and successfully operates partnerships in Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, China, Malaysia, India and Thailand. Ageas employs more than 13,000 people and has annual inflows of almost EUR 18 billion.