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Do you live in a burglary hotspot? How to keep your home safe

We’ve crunched the numbers and identified how many burglary claims are made in each UK postcode. Find out how yours fares and how to keep your home safe and secure.

By Rachel Wait

Published: 09 February 2021

Houses on a London street

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MoneySuperMarket’s annual burglary hotspots review has revealed the top 20 areas in the UK that are most likely to make a burglary claim – as well as those that are least likely.

We analysed over 3.1 million home insurance quotes from the last two years to find the UK’s burglary hotspots based on the highest and lowest rate of claims for home contents theft in the past five years.*

Digbeth, Highgate and Lee Bank in the Birmingham postcode of B5 took the number one spot for a second year in a row, with 69.44 claims recorded for every 1,000 quotes, up 22% from 57.14 in 2019

Cities have the highest claims, with 19 postcodes out of the top 20 being located in Britain’s three largest cities: thirteen in Greater London; three in Greater Manchester; and three are in Greater Birmingham. The final one is in Sheffield.

Rank

Postcode district

Post town

Contents Theft Rate (per 1000) *

1

B5

Digbeth, Highgate, Lee Bank

57.14

2

RM4

Adbridge, Theydon Bois, Stapleford Abbotts, Lambourne End, Stapleford Tawney, Navestock, Passingford Bridge, Bournebridge

69.26

3

E9

Stratford

59.44

4

SE21

Dulwich, Dulwich Village, West Dulwich, Tulse Hill, Sydenham Hill

58.90

5

B15

Edgbaston and Lee Bank

57.47

6

EC1V

Finsbury East

57.07

7

B95

Stratford upon Avon, Henley in Arden

55.21

8

E5

Upper Clapton and Lower Clapton

51.34

9

N21

Winchmore Hill, Bush Hill, Grange Park

51.00

10

SK4

Stockport, Four Heatons

50.66

11

IG7

Chigwell

50.16

12

TW12

Hampton, Hampton Hill, Fulwell

49.86

13

N2

East Finchley

49.24

14

IG8

Woodford Green

48.15

15

S7

Sheffield (Sharrow, Millhouses, Carter Knowle, Nether Edge)

47.91

16

M21

Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Firswood

47.85

17

EN5

High Barnet, Arkley

47.47

18

M20

Didsbury, Withington

47.24

19

IG5

Clayhall

46.93

20

TW1

Twickenham, St Margarets, Strawberry Hill

46.69

 

Lowest areas of burglary claims

In contrast, it’s good news for those who live in Bideford, Devon  as it has the lowest claim rate, with 0.53 claims per 1,000 quotes.

The Welsh postcode of SA18 (Ammanford) and PL26 (St Austell) follow, with claims rates of 0.68 and 0.91 per 1,000 quotes respectively.

 

 

Rank

Postcode district

Post town

Rate (per 1000) *

1

EX39

Bideford

0.53

2

SA18

Ammanford

0.68

3

PL26

St Austell

0.91

4

YO17

Malton

0.92

5

CH65

Ellesmere Port

0.92

6

AB22

Bridge of Don, Danestone, Grandholm, Persley

1.03

7

TQ7

Kingsbridge 

1.04

8

CW9

Northwich

1.05

9

LD3

Brecon

1.11

10

SA73

Milford Haven

1.13

11

TD15

Berwick upon Tweed

1.16

12

IV36

Forres

1.20

13

BH31

Verwood

1.25

14

KY5

Lochgelly

1.28

15

KY16

St Andrews

1.31

16

PO31

Cowes

1.34

17

SY21

Welshpool

1.35

18

CW7

Winsford

1.39

19

KY6

Glenrothes

1.41

20

EX31

Barnstaple

1.42

 

 

How does your postcode compare?

You can find out how your postcode fares by using our burglary claims tool.

Overall, our data shows there’s been a  7% fall in theft rates, with an average of 14.98 claims per 1,000 – down from 16.03 in 2019. After consecutive years of claims increases, the fall is likely due to more homes being occupied as a result of coronavirus restrictions – something which acts as a deterrent to would be burglars.

Burglaries remain more common in darker months, with claim numbers 22% higher in autumn than in spring. Houses remain the preferred target of burglars and over 12 times more likely to be burgled than flats. 

Kate Devine, insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Our research reveals that after a few years of rises, burglary claims started to fall this year – something we believe is most likely linked to the various lockdown restrictions implemented over the past 10 months. With more people at home than normal, it makes sense that potential burglars would see this as a deterrent which could explain the fall in claim numbers.

“While the fall is undoubtedly a good thing, it’s important to remember that burglaries remain a reality across the UK, so it’s important that you protect your home. One way to do this is to look at the type of locks you currently have in your home, to help bolster the security of your doors and windows. Further measures such as burglar alarms, security lights and timers on your indoor lights that give the illusion of occupancy are also effective deterrents against burglars.

“If you’re unlucky enough to have been a victim of burglary, it’s possible that you’ve seen an increase in your premiums. Our research finds that a previous burglary claim adds up to £36 on your premium on average. As a result, it’s always worth shopping around to ensure you’ve got the best insurance cover for your needs.”

Preventative measures

Whether you live in an area more prone to crime or not, it’s always a good idea to protect your home as much as possible to help deter burglars.

The good news is there are a number of simple, practical steps you can take to help keep your home safe and deter thieves. These include:

  • Investing in decent locks for your windows and doors and getting them fitted by a qualified locksmith
  • Marking your possessions with a UV security pen so that if anything is stolen from your home it can be identified
  • Planting prickly bushes or shrubs – but make sure they are cut to a height that allows neighbours to still spot if anyone is trying to break in to your home 
  • Installing cameras and automatic sensor lights or even a fully monitored smart system for greater protection
  • Getting an alarm installed by a supplier accredited by either the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) – a NACOSS Gold supplier - or the Security Systems an Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB)
  • Keeping valuables away from windows and storing keys out of sight
  • Avoiding leaving packaging from expensive items such as TVs and bikes beside your outside bin as this can indicate to burglars what’s sitting inside your home

What to do if you’re burgled

If your home is burgled, the first thing to do is report it to the police as soon as you can. The police will want to visit your home so avoid touching anything until they say you can.

Once they’ve taken your statement and given you a crime reference number, you’ll be able to make a home insurance claim. Locate your home insurance policy documents and call the claims number as soon as you can.

It’s a good idea to go through each room and take photos, as well as make a note of everything that is missing or damaged. You may also need to provide evidence to prove you own certain items as well as their value.

You can find out more about the steps to take after a burglary in our article.

*When people complete a contents insurance quotation, they’re asked if they’ve made a burglary claim in the past five years.