London crowned burglary capital of the UK
According to analysis of 3.1 million home insurance quotes by MoneySupermarket, the capital is home to to 12 of the top 20 burglary claim hotspots.
Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool also make an appearance in the top 20.
The study found the M21 postcode, which includes the Manchester suburbs of Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Barlow Moor, tops the list for overall burglary claim hotspots.
But London dominates the postcode districts most likely to have made a claim for theft or burglary, taking 12 of the top 20 postcodes.
North London’s sought-after leafy suburbs of Muswell Hill (N10), East Finchley and Hampstead Garden Suburb (both N2) are rife for burglary claims, as they sit third and fifth in the chart.
On the other side of the river, the capital’s southern postcode SE24 (Herne Hill and Tulse Hill) takes second spot, with east London’s Dagenham in fourth place (RM8).
Kevin Pratt, home insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Just because somewhere is named a claim hotspot it doesn’t actually mean the area in question is not a nice place to live. Thieves often target areas with wealthy residents and desirable properties where the rewards are potentially greater or quieter areas where they think there is less risk of being caught red-handed.”
Jim Maddan, chairman for the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network for England and Wales, urged concerned homeowners to take extra security measures to protect homes from opportunistic thieves.
He said: “Belonging to a Neighbourhood Watch or Home Watch scheme has also been proven to reduce your chances of getting burgled. If you’re not sure whether there’s a scheme in your area, check www.ourwatch.org.uk to find out. There are also plenty of resources on the site about setting up your own scheme if you don’t have one on your street.
“Something as simple as being on speaking terms with your neighbours and passing the time of day could mean that they notice when something is wrong – or it might be you who notices something is amiss and saves your neighbour from misfortune. Crime does not flourish in communities where people care about each other.”
On the other end of the scale, postcodes in Hampshire’s Basingstoke (including Popley, Chineham and Sherborne in RG24), Chandler’s Ford (SO53) and Havant (PO9) are among those least likely to have made a claim.
As are postcodes in popular retirement hotspot Devon, including the small port town of Bideford (EX39), agricultural East Riding of Yorkshire (YO25), and three postcode areas in Northern Ireland, including Londonderry (BT47).3
Those living in Leeds have benefitted from the biggest reduction in burglary claims over the past year.
Analysis of the impact on home insurance premiums found that on average, householders living in higher risk postcodes will pay 24% more for their cover, compared to the national average – or an extra £36 per year for their policy.
Pratt added: “If you have not previously been burgled, but there are higher rates of burglary claims made within your postal district, you are likely to be paying steeper premiums as a result. Insurers often take a blanket approach to assessing postcode districts for home insurance premiums rather than looking at insurance applications on a case by case basis.”
Pratt advised homeowners to shop around for the best deal online rather than simply accept your insurance renewal.
Homeowners can also take simple steps to reduce their premiums, by making their home more secure. Insurers will look favourably on simple measures, such as installing a burglary alarm, and using five-lever mortise locks for external doors, and windows should ideally have two bolt locks.