THE likelihood of homes in Essex being raided by burglars during the Christmas season has increased in the last three years, according to new data.

Insurance experts Howden Insurance has analysed reported burglaries across England and Wales in a bid to identify the areas most at risk of break-ins during the festive season.

The rankings show Essex averages 59.7 burglaries per 100,000 people during this time - a slightly concerning increase of 2.24 per cent since 2020.

The data shows 3,335 burglaries were recorded between November and December from 2020 to 2022, making for an average of 1,112 burglaries per year between the two winter months.

A spokesman for Howden Insurance said: “With the Christmas shopping season in full swing throughout November and December, it is important to ensure that gifts are kept out of sight in your home, as they can serve as an enticing invitation to criminal onlookers. 

“Combine this with the increased likelihood of homes being temporarily vacant as people visit family and friends over the Christmas period, and you create the ideal conditions for opportunistic thieves. 

“Beyond the financial aspect, the emotional impact of having your gifts stolen is considerable and can result in stress and disappointment during what should otherwise be a joyous time. 

“By taking proactive measures to secure their property, homeowners can reduce the risk of break-ins, during these riskier winter months.”