Are you a young, single Manchester mum living alone? Statistics show you are a prime target for burglars

By Sean Butters

Are you a young, single Manchester mum, living alone? Worrying statistics reveal that you are the most likely to be burgled in the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistics released last month, five in every 1,000 households where the homeowner was aged 16-24, along with 2.5 out of every 1,000 women, have been a victim of burglary in the UK between March 2012 and March 2013.

These figures, together with the fact that five in 1,000 households containing single parents with children – more than double the proportion of those occupied by two adults or more with children – were burgled last year, combine to reveal the worrying statistic.

Siobhan Freegard, founder of UK parenting site Netmums, pointed to young mothers struggling to make ends meet through the demands of bringing up children as a possible reason behind the statistics.

“Young single mums are often on low incomes and live in rented homes without adequate security,” she said.

“Sadly, many also feel forced to ditch insurance payments in order to heat their homes and feed their children.

“Opportunist thieves will know their homes are not always secure and may also realise they have to leave the house at set times to pick up children from school and that, as they are single, no one will be in.

“It’s this triple whammy which leaves them uniquely vulnerable to burglary and least able to recover from it afterwards both financially and emotionally.”

The findings follow an ONS report released earlier this year which showed that the number of domestic burglaries in Greater Manchester has fallen dramatically over the last ten years.

Earlier this year MM revealed that a total of 42,396 incidents recorded in 2003 plummeted to 15,295 in 2013, despite the population rising by 200,148 in the same time frame.

However an investigation by The Times earlier this week revealed that although the number of incidents is falling, theft in Manchester is up 17% putting a dent in Greater Manchester Police’s efforts to tackle crime in the area.

Gareth Morgan, speaking on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said that the statistics could be related to houses which are occupied by multiple people and the security risks associated with this kind of occupation.

“Statistically speaking, the younger you are, the more likely you are to be a victim of crime,” he said.

“Specifically in relation to burglary however we find that the highest incidence of this crime against younger people occurs in houses in multiple occupation or student accommodation, which can provide rich pickings for burglars if occupants do not put in place some kind of home security provision.”

Single women aged 16-24 are also most at risk of being a victim of theft from a person and vehicle-related crimes.

Home Office data also exposed a failure to deal with burglary calls, with 92% of 7,050 cases between January and March this year being closed by GMP despite still having ‘unsolved’ status.

Additional information showed that those who live in social housing are at higher risk than private renters and homeowners with people living in terraced houses the most likely to fall victim to burglary.

A GMP spokesman offered some advice to young mothers on how to protect themselves and their children from potential burglars.

“With the dark nights drawing in – and this is advice we would give to anyone, not just young women – that if you go out you should make sure doors and windows are locked and curtains are closed,” he said.

“Before you go out you should let your neighbours know that you are not going to be in and when you are going to be back, and make sure that you have an alarm installed and that it is properly fitted and working.”

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