Insurer predicts rise in burglaries

Conservatory owners should take steps to protect themselves from crime after the UKs largest insurer predicted a 50 per cent rise in burglaries by the end of the year.

Norwich Union said the rise in thefts would come as a result of the recession, with higher unemployment and tough fiscal conditions driving people to such crimes.

There were over 280,000 burglaries committed in the UK last year – according to Home Office figures – and the insurance provider suggested there could be an increase of around 140,000 in 2009.

"Although theft represents a small percentage of home insurance claims, we are still concerned by the effect this could have on homeowners," remarked Norwich Union director of pricing Simon Warsop.

The company – soon to be re-branded as Aviva – pointed out homeowners could take certain steps to protect themselves.

Doors, conservatories and windows should all be locked when not in use and valuables should be hidden from view, it advised.

Keeping the property maintained will persuade potential thieves that a home is secure, the insurer added.

Last month, both Halifax and Saga warned that criminals were most likely to target gardens during summer.