The 12 Crimes of Christmas: Staying Safe During the Festive Season
The holiday season is often seen as a time of joy and celebration. However, it also brings its fair share of challenges, including an increase in criminal activity. The combination of darker nights, unfavourable weather conditions, and bustling Christmas crowds creates an ideal environment for criminals and trespassers. As a leading security provider, Paramount Security understands the importance of addressing these concerns and ensuring the safety of businesses across various sectors. In this article, we will delve into the shocking statistics on crime during Christmas, highlighting the significant impact it can have on businesses, and providing effective strategies to mitigate these issues.
The Impact of the Cost of Living Crisis on Christmas Crime
The ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK has had a significant impact on crime rates. Shoplifting has seen a substantial increase of 25% across England and Wales, with Sussex experiencing the highest rise at 45%. Theft from the person has also risen by 20%, with notable increases in Northumbria and Devon & Cornwall. Additionally, weapon possession offenses have seen a 13% increase, with Cheshire reporting a shocking 91% rise.
Sourcing Christmas Crime Statistics
To present an accurate and objective representation of crime rates during the festive period, we have gathered data from various sources. This includes the latest information from the Police Data repository, covering the entire year of 2022. We specifically focus on the “golden quarter” The 100-day countdown to Christmas for retailers, which spans from October to December and provides the most accurate reflection of the Christmas season.
Key Statistics on Crime at Christmas
Shoplifting Soars Over the Christmas Period
The holiday season sees a significant increase in shoplifting incidents, with the last three months of the year experiencing a disproportionate amount of criminal activity. In Quarter 4 of 2022, there were 100,200 instances of shoplifting reported in England and Wales, marking a staggering 24.7% increase compared to the previous quarter. London, West Yorkshire, and the West Midlands were the most affected regions.
Robbery Sees a Similar Festive Fluctuation
Opportunistic thieves take advantage of the holiday season, resulting in a rise in personal and business property robberies. Quarter 4 witnessed 19,849 robbery incidents, a 5.6% increase compared to the next highest quarter. London, the West Midlands, and Greater Manchester reported the highest numbers of robbery cases.
Greater Risk of Criminal Damage at Christmas
The festive season also sees an increase in criminal damage incidents, particularly during the darker winter months. Quarter 4 recorded 35,967 criminal damage incidents, indicating a surge compared to the previous quarters. London, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, and the West Midlands reported the highest rates of criminal damage.
Burglary in Businesses Sees a Christmas Spike
While retailers and the hospitality industry prepare for a busy season, other businesses face an increased risk of burglary. Quarter 4 saw 19,016 instances of business and community burglary, highlighting a vulnerability shared by various sectors. London reported the highest number of business burglaries, followed by the West Midlands and Greater Manchester.
Employee Theft Is a Significant Issue During the Holidays
The holiday season presents an opportunity for employee theft, which can often go unnoticed amidst the busy atmosphere. Quarter 4 recorded 1,666 incidents of theft by employees. The British Retail Consortium estimates that nearly £40 million was lost due to employee theft in 2021-2022. London, Greater Manchester, and West Yorkshire reported the highest numbers of employee theft cases.
Criminal Damage to Businesses Is Prevalent Over the Festive Period
Businesses are at risk of vandalism and aggressive behaviour during the holiday season, especially with eye-catching displays and decorations. Quarter 4 witnessed 13,580 incidents of criminal damage to buildings other than dwellings. London, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, and the Thames Valley reported the highest rates of criminal damage.
Rise in Attempted Business Burglary
Attempted business burglary also sees an increase during the festive season, as criminals take advantage of vacant premises and crowded areas. Quarter 4 recorded 2,714 instances of attempted business burglary. London, the West Midlands, and West Yorkshire reported the highest numbers of attempted business burglaries.
These statistics highlight the challenges businesses face during the Christmas season. Paramount Security understands the importance of implementing effective security measures to protect businesses and mitigate the risks associated with increased criminal activity. By staying vigilant, investing in robust security systems, and partnering with experienced security providers, businesses can safeguard their premises, assets, and employees during this critical time.
Note: The sources used to gather these statistics are from various data aggregators and independent sources.