London’s most burgled boroughs

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Almost one in 7 of the UK’s population now live in Greater London, so when new statistics come out showing which boroughs of the capital you’re most likely to get burgled in, many people sit up and take notice. lock

The Daily Telegraph recently published detailed figures, put together by the engineering consultancy Arup, which show the density of reported thefts by area. And the results make fascinating reading.

The City comes top

The City, with its high density of office blocks that provide a smorgasbord of theft opportunities for criminals, came top of the London burglary chart.

There were 169 thefts per square kilometre in the area between January and September last year; that’s over 40% greater than the next most affected borough, showing just how attractive it is as a place for thieves to go ‘on the rob’.

Islington, which is thought of as a very wealthy London enclave, but in fact is an area where poverty and wealth are very much cheek by jowl, came second in the list.

The area experienced 119 burglaries per square kilometre over the same period, the highest of any ‘residential’ London borough.

Wealthy areas not always targeted

It’s commonly believed that those living in the wealthiest parts of towns and cities suffer the highest burglary rates, as thieves think they’ll get the most valuable haul from homes and cars in such areas.

But Arup’s statistics show that this isn’t necessarily the case. The Royal London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, one of top five richest parts of London and the UK, came in at 32nd out of the 33 boroughs in the list when it came to overall crime levels.

Chief risk consultant at Arup, Chris Tomlinson, pointed out to the Daily Telegraph that there isn’t always a connection between an area with lots of valuable properties and wealthy people living in it and crime rates.

Just as important as theft-triggers are levels of deprivation within an area, and the density of housing, with the existence of tower blocks and housing estates, creating greater accessibility for thieves to a larger number of homes.

Poor areas just as likely to suffer

Plus, as many thefts are spur-of-the-moment, it’s unsurprising that areas where a larger number of criminals live, which are often those that are most deprived, also suffer some of the worst rates of burglary.

As Tomlinson tells the Daily Telegraph “Areas of deprivation do suffer high amounts of crime victimisation across a spectrum of offences”.

Here are the 33 London boroughs in the burglary list, with those that experience the greatest number of burglaries per square kilometre at the top and the least at the bottom.

Most burgled London boroughs

City of London – 169 per square kilometre

Islington – 119.6

Westminster – 113.6

Hackney – 108.2

Camden – 98.6

Kensington – 94.6

Lambeth – 83.4

Tower Hamlets – 81.8

Haringey – 73.5

Southwark – 69.6

Hammersmith and Fulham – 61.9

Wandsworth – 55

Lewisham – 52.3

Newham -48.7

Waltham Forest – 47.9

Brent – 43.1

Barking and Dagenham – 35.9

Ealing – 35.8

Redbridge – 32.6

Greenwich – 32

Merton – 30.1

Barnet – 29.9

Enfield – 27.1

Croydon – 26.2

Harrow – 25.3

Hounslow – 23.9

Richmond upon Thames – 22.9

Sutton – 22.5

Kingston upon Thames – 18.8

Bexley – 18.3

Hillingdon – 16

Bromley – 13.6

Havering – 13.4

Burglary rates and your home insurance

Unfortunately for those living in areas with higher burglary rates, the cost of their home insurance will be greater than cover for similar homes in areas with lower rates of theft.

Insurers attach significant importance to burglary and general crime rates when working out how much of a ‘risk’ a home presents, and adjust the premiums they charge for cover accordingly.

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