Will UK Crime Surge Post-Lockdown?

lockdown security


As lockdown restrictions are eased this April, there is excitement and optimism in the air as businesses brace themselves for bounce back.  Here at Farsight, our remote monitoring security team is bracing themselves too – to protect our clients’ businesses from a likely UK crime surge in the months post-lockdown, but why?

What was the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on crime?

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), initial findings from the telephone-operated UK Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) estimated a significant 32% reduction in total crime during April and May 2020 compared with a two-month average in the pre-lockdown period.

Underlying this reduction were significant falls in theft offences, particularly domestic burglary and other theft of personal property; this reflects the increase in time people spent at home during the lockdown period, a reduction in opportunities for theft in public spaces and the closure of the night-time economy.

Police recorded crime fell by 5% in March 2020 compared with the previous month, followed by a larger 20% decrease between March and April. Commenting on these figures, Billy Gazard from the Office for National Statistics Centre for Crime and Justice said:

“There was a significant fall in crime at the height of the coronavirus pandemic across England and Wales. This was driven by reductions in theft offences, particularly domestic burglary and theft of personal property. As this period coincided with the majority of people spending long periods at home during lockdown, it is not unexpected”.

However, in contrast, UK crime increased by 12% from April to May, as the easing of lockdown restrictions began.

Post -Lockdown Crime Surge

The relaxation of lockdown measures in May 2020 heralded a significant jump in reported crime figures.  According to UKCrime Stats post-lockdown June saw 6% increase in ‘all reported crimes’ when compared to May.  This increase equates to a massive surge in crimes – almost a million, increasing from 1,548,131 in May to 1,641,780 in June 2020.

Looking at the national crime statistics in a little more depth, certain crimes like burglary, robbery, vehicle crimes and other theft indeed showed a decrease during the lockdown period March – May 2020.  However, once lockdown restrictions were eased these reported crime incidents shot up again as illustrated in the table below using below using figures provided by UKCrimeStats.

Month Burglary Robbery Vehicle Crimes Other Theft
Dec-20 20,506 4,545 25,017 26,165
Nov-20 23,172 5,069 29,960 26,707
Oct-20 23,763 5,527 31,530 30,100
Sep-20 22,091 5,653 29,371 30,777
Aug-20 21,997 5,704 27,178 31,497
Jul-20 21,799 5,301 26,756 30,496
Jun-20 19,717 4,330 24,061 26,279
May-20 18,519 3,607 21,628 23,748
Apr-20 19,011 2,913 21,562 20,832
Mar-20 25,641 5,673 32,035 31,340
Feb-20 28,667 6,549 35,774 35,929
Jan-20 31,718 6,818 38,797 37,277
TOTALS 276,601 61,689 343,669 351,147

The above table shows that there was a decrease in reported UK crime across these categories during lockdown, however, these figures quickly rose post-lockdown – and significantly!

Here at Farsight, our remote monitoring  security team is always committed to vigilance and are prepared for another potential surge in intruder related incidents as restrictions are lifted this April. We urge all businesses to consider what security measures they have in place and ensure that they are optimised.

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Farsight’s experience of crime frequency during lockdown…

The above mentioned decrease in reported crime figures during lockdown is described by ONS as largely down to less residential burglaries.  However, Farsight’s clients are predominantly within the business sector which revealed a very different trend during lockdown and the rest of 2020.

The chaos caused by the pandemic restrictions on businesses was seen to open up many more opportunities for criminals to exploit. Studies have found that Routine Activity (or lack of it) had many negative affects on the numbers of crimes against businesses during lockdown. With so many businesses standing empty or with minimal staff present, it proved an attractive target for unscrupulous criminals and opportunists alike.

For Farsight, a leading national remote security monitoring station, 2020 proved a very challenging year indeed in terms of an increased volume of intruder related incidents at our clients’ commercial premises.

The pandemic containment restrictions in 2020 had  a direct impact on the security of many businesses with a stark increase in crime being reported across a range of industry sectors. For example, construction sites saw a 50% increase in crime during lockdown. Rural businesses and farms, industrial estatesempty properties, schools and car dealerships, amongst many others, have been blighted in a surge in burglaries, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.

Vehicle thefts have also continued to increase across the UK and in particular, a spike in car parts theft attempts including catalytic converters and LED headlights, fuelled largely by the disruption of after market supply chains during lockdown and an increase in black market car parts values.


security monitoring

Testament to the Farsight team’s dedication and ‘true grit’ in the face of so many challenges was demonstrated by the fact that between Jan – Dec 2020 the Farsight CCTV operators issued a whopping 119,901 audio deterrent warnings and escalated 9,950 incidents to blue light services and keyholders. 

Just some of the incidents that Farsight’s remote monitoring operators proactively responded to include these:

We are proud to say the professionalism and remote monitoring service excellence during 2020 was acknowledged by so many of our clients and we were also awarded ‘Best Security Services Provider 2020 – UK’ by Corporate Vision.

Best Security Services Provider


Is it time to optimise your security with Farsight?

As a leading UK based remote monitoring station, Farsight works with security systems installers and business sites across a wide spectrum of industry sectors to protect their premises, assets and people with our range of security monitoring services.

Our security remote monitoring services include:

To get advice on optimising your security to protect your business with remote monitoring or to get a quote for any of our security monitoring services, simply give us a call on 0845 371 0101 or drop us a line in the form below: