Home burglary hotspots - What can you do to protect your home? 

In 2018 it was reported by The Office of National Statistics that 'the number of burglary offences recorded by the police increased by 8% (from 402,031 in 2017 to 433,110 in 2018)’. But what postcodes are seeing the most burglaries?

New research conducted by insurance comparison site Money Supermarket has revealed which UK postcodes are most likely to be targeted by home burglars. With Guildford taking the top spot, closely followed by Cambridgeshire. Read on to see what other areas appeared in the top 20 list.

What are the UK burglary hotspots?

Money Supermarket analysed data taken from over two million home contents claims to identify the postcodes where the highest and lowest number of claims had taken place.

Surprisingly, some of the postal areas shown, haven’t previously featured on the list and some have seen a sharp increase in burglaries over the past 12 months. 

Guildford, for example, didn’t even appear within the top 20 on last year’s list, but has jumped in a number one this year. In the postcode GU3, for every 1,000 home insurance quotes recorded 52.31 had reported a burglary.

Another high climber for 2018 is Cambridge (East) which has jumped from 12th to 2nd position.

Some of the UK’s biggest cities, including Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, also featured within the top five.

The below table, provides an overview of the top 20 burglary hotspots:

UK Rank Postal Area Code Postal Area Rate per 1000 quotes
1 GU3 Normandy, Puttenham, Worplesdon, Christmas Pie, Flexford 52.31
2 CB5 Cambridge (East) 51.43
3 B15 Edgbaston, Lee Bank 51.16
4 M21 Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Firswood 50.37
5 LS5 Hawksworth, Kirkstall 50.15
6 L16 Broadgreen, Bowring Park, Childwall 59.49
7 LS8 Fearnville, Gipton, Gledhow, Harehills, Oakwood, Roundhay 47.31
8 TW11 Teddington 46.12
9 CB4 Cambridge (North) 45.83
10 SW14 Mortlake, East Sheen 45.17
11 CM4 Blackmore, Fryerning, Ingatestone, Stock 43.73
12 BD14 Clayton 43.21
13 EH5 Granton 42.11
14 SK8 Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Gatley, Heald Green 41.59
15 EN4 Hadley Wood, Cockfosters, East Barney, New Barnet 41.55
16 DA3 Longfield, Hartley, Fawkham 41.38
17 IG7 Chigwell 41.15
18 IG8 Woodford Green, Woodford Bridge 41.10
19 S11 Ecclesall, Endcliffe Park, Ecclesall Road, Greystones, Hunter’s Bar, Millhouses, Sharrow Vale, Nether Edge 40.98
20 TW11 Hampton 40.82

https://www.moneysupermarket.com/home-insurance/burglary-hotspots/

But, which postal area sees the lowest rate of burglaries?

If you have ever heard about North Devon (EX39) being quiet and quaint, then maybe you have heard right. It appears as though this postal code sees the lowest rate of burglary claims, according to Money Supermarket, with only 0.78 claims per 1000 quotes.

See the below table for the top five safest UK postal areas:

UK Rank Postal Area Code Postal Area Rate per 1000 quotes
1 EX39 Bideford, Hartland 0.78
2 CSR7 Murton, Seaham, Dalton-le-Dale, Cold Hesledon 1.09
3 EX16 Tiverton, Sampford, Peverell, Witheridge, Bickleigh 1.10
4 DL16 Spennymoor, Byers Greeen, Kirk Merington, Middlestone, Page Bank, Westerton, County Durham, Whitworth, North Close 1.16
5 SY23 Aberystwyth, Llanbadarn, Fawr, Penparcau 1.18

*Money Supermarket statistics reported by which.

What can I do to protect my home and prevent a burglary?

Don’t think that just because you don’t live in a UK burglary hotspot that it won’t happen to you.  Unfortunately, burglars can strike at any time and in any postcode. There are some preventative methods you can put in place to try and safeguard your home to deter burglaries.

Improve home security

The POLICE.UK have reported that ‘homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled that those with simple security measures’. Here are our top tips for better securing your home:

Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house

Where it might be tempting to pop to the local shop, a 2 minute walk away, leaving your door unlocked; this allows just enough time for a burglar to enter your property and remove some of its contents.

Don’t leave keys outside

Keys left outside under a doormat or in a shoe for a family member to find can also be found by burglars. An additional point to consider here is if a key was used to access the house, will your insurance company accept your claim?

Don’t leave valuables in clear sight

Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows. Don’t encourage burglars.

Lock gates

Ensure rear and side gates are locked to prevent additional access points being available to burglars.

Consider outside lighting

Install good outside lighting to deter burglars from approaching. An additional benefit of this is that you will be alerted by the light outside should it be set off by movement.

Make sure your locks are strong

According to POLICE.UK ‘in most burglary cases, the criminals broke into the house or flat through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in’. So it is worth making sure that the locks on your doors are as strong and secure as they can be. Glass panelled doors are particularly vulnerable. You could always replace a glass panel with laminated glass, this will make it stronger.

Complete regular security checks

Regularly check your doors and locks for signs of wear and tear and replace where locks have weakened.

Break down delivery boxes

This is especially relevant around birthdays and Christmas time. If you have boxes outside your home awaiting collection from the bin men, ensure that they are broken down and do not display images or information on what may now be inside your home.

Lock up tools and bikes

It is not just our homes that we keep valuables in. just imagine how much all of your garden tools and bikes are worth! Protect these items by securing your outdoor building and locking bikes up.

Don’t leave keys in the lock

Hook and crook theft is where keys are left either in the lock or so near to the front door that, as with hook a duck, they can be hooked using a coat hanger or long instrument and pulled through the letterbox. Ensure that keys are located up high or away from the front door.

Keep schtum on social

As reported by Social Media Today, ‘30% of all time spent online is now allocated to social media interaction’. So imagine how many people can see whether you are ‘sunning it up in Fuerteventura’. Now imagine that these people can locate your home from previous ‘check-ins’ or photos. Can you see the vulnerable position that you may be putting your home in?

The website ‘Get Safe’ has noted that burglars can use such tools as ‘Google Street View, internet directories and even online image searches to locate your home’. So you see the moment you post your trip details on a social site, a burglar can start planning their own trip…to your home.  It doesn’t even have to be a long haul trip, casual social mentions of dinner dates, day trips to the beach or even overnight work stays, can alert burglars to the fact that your home will be unoccupied.

Here’s our top tips to help ensure that you don’t make your home the next target:

Check your privacy settings

Check the privacy settings on your social media accounts to make sure that your profile can only be viewed by friends and not by ‘friends of friends’ or strangers. Equally, it is worth noting that the more people you tag in your post, the more chance of strangers seeing your posts. You can’t be sure of others privacy settings.

Don’t accept who you don’t know

Don’t accept friend requests from people that you don’t know. Even a “friend of a friend” may be a fraud. Ask your mutual friend if he/she actually knows the person before accepting.

Share personal data sparingly

Sharing personal information such as your phone number, hometown, date of birth or home address makes it easy for burglars to locate you and increases your vulnerability to identity theft. Additionally, cyber thieves could use this information to attempt to crack your password by answering common security questions (mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, first school attended, etc.).

For more tips and advice on how to help keep your home safe from social spies, read our blog Are you an ‘insta-bragger’.

We hope that you have found this article useful. To share your tips on how to deter burglaries, visit the Budget Insurance Facebook Page and leave us a comment.

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