Homeowners may wish to review their security fencing and metal gates as Halloween comes closer, after research by insurer Aviva revealed that burglaries and vandalism become much more common between October 31st and November 5th.

The company's claims data for the last ten years shows that incidences of criminal damage to property and vehicles increases 150 per cent on Halloween.

Meanwhile, figures from police forces around the country revealed a massive spike in burglaries on November 5th, when criminals can be confident that many people leave their homes unattended.

Strathclyde and Northamptonshire saw particularly large jumps, at 57 per cent and 53 per cent respectively compared with the rest of the year.

"Simple measures can help to minimise the risk - put the car in the garage if you have one, tidy up any loose garden items or ornaments so they are not used to cause damage and make your house look occupied if you are going out by leaving lights on," said Rob Townend, property claims director at Aviva.

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