Burglary hotspots 2014: Best and worst postcodes for theft

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Once again London has been crowned the burglary hotspot of Britain, with 12 of the top 20 most badly-affected postcodes being found in the capital, latest research from the financial comparison site Moneysupermarket.com shows. But while parts of London are the worst hit, it doesn’t have the highest concentration of burglaries per thousand residents. That honour goes to the posh M21 postcode, which includes the well-heeled areas near the Manchester suburbs of Chorlton and Barlow Moor.iStock_000019406980XSmall

Better off areas targeted

From Moneysupermarket.com’s anyalysis of over 3 million home insurance quotes for burglary in 2013, it’s clear that often the trendiest and better off areas suffer the most. Parts of London such as Muswell Hill and Herne Hill (which sit next to some not so salubrious areas), as well as the extremely wealthy area of Hampstead, all suffer high burglary rates, as do a number of posh little towns in Buckinghamshire.

Burglaries per thousand residents

The M21 postcode in Manchester experienced 45.2 claims for theft for every 1,000 people living there, giving it the highest concentration of burglaries, while the SE24 postcode in south east London was not far behind with 41.8. Muswell Hill, N10, scored a not-so-pleasant 40.9 claims per thousand. People often think higher burglary rates go hand-in-hand with down-at-heel areas, but, of course, burglars like to target places where people have money and therefore often houses containing more tempting items to steal. As Moneysupermarket’s burglary expert, Kevin Pratt, pointed out “Just because somewhere is named a claim hotspot it doesn’t actually mean the area in question is not a nice place to live”. Leeds saw a welcome drop in the table, after topping it last year.

Higher rates of theft means higher insurance premiums

Unfortunately, the privilege of being able to live in a nice part of Britain means higher insurance costs as providers look at the rates of burglary by postcode to help determine how much to charge for home cover. Fitting the best locks and alarms can help to offset this as insurers often reduce the cost of cover if a home is more secure. And the difference with more safe postcodes can be significant. As Moneysupermarket’s Pratt points out, in the more at risk areas “typically premiums are 24 per cent more expensive on average” and that “higher value properties could expect to pay even more than this.”

Countryside dominates safest areas

As you might expect, fairly rural parts of the country in Devon, East Riding in Yorkshire and Londonderry in Northern Ireland, experienced the lowest levels of burglary. Here are the top 20 areas where you’re most and least likely to have to make a cover claim (figures given are for claims per thousand residents).

20 postcodes you’re most likely to be burgled in (figures for 2013):

1. M21 – Chorlton-cum-Hardy; Barlow Moor, Manchester, 45.2

2. SE24 – Herne Hill; Tulse Hill (part), London, 41.8

3. N10 – Muswell Hill, London, 40.9

4. RM8 – Dagenham; Becontree; Becontree Heath, London, 35.9

5. N2 – East Finchley; Fortis Green; Hampstead Garden Suburb (part), London, 34.5

6. L18 – Allerton; Mossley Hill, Liverpool, 33.3

7. L22 – Waterloo, Liverpool, 32.6

8. N18 – Upper Edmonton; Edmonton (part), London, 32.3

9. UB6 – Greenford; Perivale, London, 30.9

10. SE27 – West Norwood; Gipsy Hill (part), London, 30.5

11. B73 – Boldmere; New Oscott; Wylde Green, Birmingham, 29.5

12. E8 – Hackney Central; Dalston; London Fields, London, 29.4

13. DN2 – Intake; Wheatley; Wheatley Hills, Doncaster, 28.7

14. N20 – Whetstone; Totteridge; Oakleigh Park, London, 28.0

15. E9 – Homerton; Hackney Wick; South Hackney; Hackney Marshes; Victoria Park, London, 27.8

16. N11 – New Southgate; Friern Barnet; Bounds Green; Arnos Grove (part), London, 27.7

17. N16 – Stoke Newington; Stamford Hill (part); Shacklewell; Dalston (part); Newington Green (part), London, 27.7

18. LS16 – Adel, Bramhope; Cookridge; Eccup; Far Headingley; Holt Park; Ireland Wood; Lawnswood; Moor Grange; Tinshill; Weetwood; West Park, Leeds, 27.6

19. B24 – Erdington; Tyburn, Birmingham, 27.6

20. HP10 – High Wycombe; Flackwell Heath; Handy Cross; Hedsor; Loudwater; Penn; Tylers Green; Wooburn; Wooburn Green; Wooburn Moor, Buckinghamshire, 27.3

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.