When is the most frequent time for a burglary?

Haus mit Lampen
Burglars only come at night anyway - I have nothing to fear during the day anyway, every child knows that! And if I keep windows and doors closed, if I leave the house or the flat I am always on the safe side - and at all: there is nothing interesting for burglars to get! This is how the attitude of most people in Germany on the subject of house and apartment burglaries sounds. Basically, there is a true core to these beliefs, but here too, as so often: no rule without exception. Exactly therefore it is to be shown in this text, what is true and where it concerns burglary myths, with which many citizens in Germany weigh themselves into felt however wrong security.

2016 - new all-time high in the number of home burglaries

In 2016, the number of House and home burglaries in Germany was a total of 160,000, according to official statistics from the burglary report of the German insurance industry (GDV). Thus the number increased compared to the value of 5 years ago by about one third and thus approx. 40,000 burglaries. The resulting loss, regulated by the German insurers, amounted to an enormous 530 million euros in 2015. This makes a damage of over 3.000€ per burglary - if one assumes that each burglary victim possesses a household contents insurance and this would also fully be responsible for the developed damage. In fact, however, this is not the case because, on the one hand, very few people have household contents insurance and, on the other hand, it happens again and again that burglaries are also caused by the injured parties, for example because windows were not properly closed. In short, this means that the actual damage per burglary in Germany is significantly higher than the 3,000€ mentioned. Since 2006, the number of burglaries in Germany has risen steadily year after year and a reversal of this trend does not seem to be in sight. Especially the cities and especially the big cities are strongly affected. All the more astonishing that according to a TNS Emnid survey 83 percent say they are not afraid, or hardly afraid at all, even though there is a burglary every few minutes. But when is there going to be a break-in? This is the question we are now looking into.

During the day I am sure, because burglars only come at night

That's what you might think and a lot of people do. In fact, burglars also come at night. However, only every seventh burglary takes place at night between 22 and six o'clock. The vast majority of burglaries, almost 60%, occur during the day between ten and eight o'clock. If you think about it, it makes the most sense. During the day, most people are out and about doing their work or other things. At this time of day, the probability of entering an apartment or house unnoticed is much greater. Neighbours of the burglary victim are presumably on the way and in the stairwell of the multiple dwelling nobody will meet you tendentially at this time of day.

On the subject of multi-family houses, it should also be mentioned that the more housing units the house has, the easier it is for burglars to take action and the more secure they feel. One might think here that with the increasing number of residential units in an apartment building, the risk of being discovered by a resident and prevented from breaking and entering also increases. However, it is more the case here that anonymity increases with the number of residents and no one feels responsible even for suspicious noises that arise in connection with the burglary. These are general and observed social phenomena and, of course, there are always exceptions.

The apartments on the top floors of apartment buildings are particularly popular with burglars - at least for burglaries via the apartment door. As the number of floors above the place of burglary decreases, the number of people passing the crime scene on their way out decreases. This leads us to the next widespread assumption:

Burglars only come when I'm not at home.

For the vast majority of burglaries this is true because they are the possible confrontation. However, despite their presence, very brazen thieves gain access to your house or apartment, which is documented by burglary statistics: on average, robbers are present in 10% of all burglaries in a single-family home. The main reason for this behaviour is considered to be that burglars simply overlook the fact that someone is in the house and not that they deliberately seek confrontation.

Burglars come only in the dark season, in spring and summer I have nothing to fear!

A widespread assumption among the population, which is also fundamentally correct. Because nearly half of all burglaries are committed between October and February. Then the burglary season is booming, because thieves can simply act better under the protection of darkness. The winter days are short and the darkness protects against the curious glances, because few owners possess for example effective movement detectors, which would let the burglar shine in, for all visible, a spotlight. The fact that burglars prefer the dark season to pursue their "calling" does not mean, however, that they are spared burglaries for the rest of the year. Quite the contrary, because even in summer there are always good chances for burglars to get into houses and apartments very easily. On the one hand, in summer more windows and patio doors are tilted or left completely open when people leave their apartments or houses. Thus the break-down becomes the child's play - particularly since the few humans their windows or doors alarm-secured have, which would deter burglars due to the ear-deafening volume in most cases and into the flight would strike.

On the other hand, the summer months are also holiday season and this means that the residents tend to be on holiday and the houses are mostly unguarded. This is recognized by burglars who spy out the crime scene before the break-in on several aspects: the car is no longer parked in the driveway, the lighting is no longer switched on in the evening and the television no longer lights up brightly in the living room. For burglars, these are all easily identifiable indications that the residents are absent.

In our area there is no breaking and entering anyway and I have nothing to get anyway!

This statement can be considered fundamentally wrong in good conscience, because there is no area in Germany that has never been broken into: Whether in the idyllic countryside or the big city - burglaries are taking place everywhere and so the police in the countryside are recording an increase in the number of burglaries of 20% compared to three years ago. Nevertheless, metropolitan areas remain the most popular areas for burglaries. The burglary statistics are led by the cities of Leipzig, Hanover and Cologne. On average, 15% of all households there have been victims of burglary in the last 10 years.

No matter whether it is a noble villa area or a multi-family house settlement, no area is uninteresting for burglars - because they usually do not know what to expect in the respective apartment or house before the break-in. However, almost everyone will own a smartphone or mobile phone, a laptop or jewellery. Some people will also keep some cash at home. That's exactly what burglars are after! Small and handy electrical appliances that can be resold quickly and easily, jewellery, cash and valuable coins. The problem is that most people simply leave their valuables lying around or even present them in a showcase or similar. A safe for the home use or one secret hiding place would create remedy and prevent with large probability a theft.

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