Warning burglaries could soar post-lockdown as Brits finally leave their homes

Fears have been raised that burglaries could surge as lockdown is lifted.

Charity Crimestoppers says spring could feel ‘like Christmas’ for thieves as Brits finally start to leave their homes.

The stark warning comes after research shows the average households have splurged more than £4,000 on expensive items.

According to John Lewis, 71% of people have bought new TVs, tablets, gym equipment and more to entertain themselves during lockdown.

Most people – 86% – confirmed they are planning to go out when lockdown measures are eased over the coming weeks.

Nearly a third of Brits also say they are planning to go away.

But Mick Duthie, the director of operations at Crimestoppers, said: "Having your home burgled can be not only a costly experience but also emotionally traumatic.

"As we come out of lockdown, it’s crucial that we all ensure our homes are as secure as possible.

"This spring could feel like the Christmas burglars didn’t have last year, because we stayed at home."

Figures show burglary plummeted 20% last year as millions of Brits spent more time in their homes during repeated lockdowns.

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According to the Office for National Statistics, jewellery, purses, watches and computer equipment are some of the most stolen items during burglaries.

Ali Berryman, head of financial services at John Lewis, said: "Over the last 12 months, out of necessity we’ve turned our homes into offices, gyms and places to entertain ourselves – and we’ve spent lots of money making this happen."

He said the "vast majority of us" are "already making plans to leave our homes once lockdown restrictions are lifted".

Under the Government’s roadmap, groups of up to six people can meet outside from March 29.

Beer gardens and outdoor dining can reopen from April 12 at the earliest, along with hairdressers and gyms.

Pubs and restaurants will reopen from May 17, while domestic overnight stays can take place.

Ministers hope to remove all legal limits on social contact from June 21, with nightclubs also due to finally open their doors again.

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