Although the number of burglaries has been stable since 2012, with 75,130 incidents in 2013, National Databank (BNG) figures show there has been an overall increase of 22.53% since 2008. The figures were reported by federal police during the launch of the “1 Day Without” (1 Jour Sans) campaign on Wednesday.
House burglaries are also up from 58.51% in 2010 to 68.60% in 2013. Although burglars are increasingly targeting houses over apartments, the burglaries all share similar characteristics. Objects stolen are mainly jewellery (43% of cases), cash (40%) and computers (34.2%).
Homes are burgled less during the summer months, with the months of October, November and December seeing a peak in the number of offences. Apartments are more likely to fall victim to burglary in the week and during the daytime whereas most houses are burgled in the evenings and at weekends.
The majority of burglaries take place in the larger towns and cities, almost half of all 2013 incidents being reported in the following towns: Brussels (9,252 burglaries), Liège (9,086), Charleroi (7,231), Antwerp (6,904) and Asse (5,428).
The towns most likely to be ‘visited’ are those around major roads – Liège, Charleroi, Huy, Asse, Mons, Namur, Nivelles, Brussels and Verviers.
The nationwide “1 Day Without” campaign, launched on December 11th, aims to raise awareness among Belgians by encouraging people to share security tips and effective measures, in particular via www.1joursans.be and the ‘1joursans’ smartphone app.