Five in six Christmas burglaries unsolved by police

  • 11% more burglaries of homes over the Christmas period than in the rest of the year.
  • 84% of Christmas burglaries go unsolved by the police.
  • 44,220 burglaries committed in October to December last year were closed without a suspect being identified.

New analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed an 11% spike in burglaries over the Christmas period, five in six of which go unsolved by police.

In the last five years, police recorded an average of 5,290 domestic burglaries per week in October, November and December, compared to 4,751 a week over the rest of the year.

The Liberal Democrat analysis also shows that domestic burglaries committed over the festive period are more likely to go unsolved. 84% cases recorded in the last three months of the year are closed with no suspect identified, compared to 81% of those recorded in the rest of the year. Last year, that meant 44,220 unsolved burglaries in October to December.

The period between Christmas and New Year can prove particularly fruitful for burglars, with homes full of new presents left empty as occupants visit family elsewhere. 

The top police forces with the worst unsolved burglary rates over the Christmas period are the West Midlands Police (90.1%), Metropolitan Police (89.7%) and Surrey Police (88.8%), with around nine in ten burglaries going unsolved.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP, said: “Everyone should be able to feel safe in their own homes over the Christmas period, and know that if someone does break in they will be caught and punished. But with the vast majority of burglaries going unsolved, that’s simply not the case for far too many people.

Alistair Carmichael MP

“This Conservative Government’s failure to tackle crime is letting victims down and letting criminals get away with it.

“Liberal Democrats are working hard to make our communities safe and help residents feel safe too. We need a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people.”

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