Coronavirus lockdowns keeping burglars away, except in Tilburg
Burglars have struck 21,619 times in the Netherlands so far this year, a 23 percent decline from the year before, according to insurance company Interpolis. The decrease is related to the coronavirus lockdowns, and is not expected to be repeated next year. In total, the insurer expects 22,500 burglaries this year, which would be a record low as measured by the company’s Burglary Barometer.
In the months when almost everything was shut down, the number of burglaries remained low. This was particularly the case in Drenthe and Flevoland, where burglaries fell by a third. The number of burglaries fell less sharply in Groningen, where the deli nice was six percent, and also parts of Noord-Brabant. Den Bosch recorded a four percent reduction.
The number of burglaries has increased in some places, with Tilburg showing a nine-percent hike. Overall, the number of burglaries in the country started rising again in the autumn with a peak typically recorded towards the end of the year, when there are fewer hours of daylight. That increase stalled out in recent weeks because of the initial evening-hours lockdown implemented a few weeks ago, which turned into a stricter all-hours lockdown last weekend.
The insurer noted that there are still more than 500 home burglaries committed every week, and it remains important for people to be vigilant when leaving their home. This is especially the case around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. "Then the number of burglaries is usually three times as high as in the rest of the year. Due to the lockdown, people may stay at home more often. But also when celebrating holidays in a small circle with family or friends, burglars will see their chance when people leave their homes, said Mireille van den Boom, who manages the Burglary Barometer.
The company recommends people leave Christmas tree lights on if it is safe to do so, and to leave the curtains open with half-full glasses on tables in plain sight.
Reporting by ANP.