Insurance experts are warning homeowners to be extra vigilant this week as this period is notoriously popular with criminals who use the extra hours of darkness to cause damage and break into property. According to research conducted by insurance provider Aviva, crime affecting property and vehicles takes a sharp upturn after the clocks go back with extra hours of darkness for criminals to work under. With research taken from across 16 police forces in the UK last year and information regarding claims from Aviva, the insurance company found that the week from October 30th – November 5th saw on average an increase in burglaries of 26%, with Strathclyde falling victim to the highest increase with a surge amounting to 57% more break-ins during this week last year. Referring back to 10 years worth of claims made through Aviva, the insurer found there was an increase of 28% on average of burglaries occurring on bonfire night, making it one of the most dangerous nights of the year for break-ins. Halloween also poses a number of problems for homeowners as Aviva estimate from their studies that malicious damage claims jump by 150% on this evening, with a 50% increase in damage reported to cars, and 20% rise in car theft on October 31st. To minimise the potential for damage to property, insurance experts are warning homeowners to take basic steps such as removing any garden objects and ornaments which could be used to cause damage, also putting cars in garages if possible, ensuring all windows and doors are locked securely, and leaving lights on inside to give the impression someone is in, even if you are out.