The colder, darker months usually see burglaries increase by 12 per cent. However, one perk of the current circumstances has been the fall in burglaries for the first time in two years by 7 per cent.
According to MoneySuperMarket, 2020 was the first year to see a fall in burglary claims. After two consecutive years of rises, the number of claims fell from 16.03 claims per 1,000 in 2019 to 14.98 in 2020.
However, despite this good news, Birmingham remains the most burgled area in the UK. The B5 postcode which covers Digbeth, Highgate and Lee Bank topped the rankings for the second year in a row.
The survey found that the area had a rate of 69.44 home content theft claims per 1,000 quotes. A 22 per cent increase from 57.14 claims in 2019.
The four cities with the highest number of claims were Greater London, Greater Manchester and Greater Birmingham and Sheffield.
Thirteen of the postcodes with the highest claims were located in Greater London, with the Stratford postcode E9 seeing the largest number of claims. Three of the postcodes were located in Greater Manchester and in Greater Birmingham.
‘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,’ explains Kate Devine, head of home insurance at MoneySuperMarket.
‘While the fall is undoubtedly a good thing, it’s important to remember that burglaries remain a reality across the UK. 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,’ she advises.’
The UK’s burglary claim hotspots
Prior to lockdown MoneySuperMarket revealed the postcode of B5 as Britain’s top burglary claims hotspot. The central Birmingham postcode which covers Digbeth Highgate and Lee Bank was found to have a rate of 57.14 claims per 1,000 quotes given.
MoneySuperMarket analysed home insurance claims over the last two years to reveal the locations with the highest amount of burglary claims. The postcode B94, also in the midlands, covering Olton and Solihull came in second place with a burglary claim rate of 52.63 per cent. The London postcode of IG5 covering Clayhall snuck into third place with a burglary claim rate of 51.64 per cent.
Britains three major cities dominated the list, with 18 postcodes out of the top 20 found in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Nine of the top 20 were found to be in Greater London, four in Greater Birmingham and four in Greater Manchester.
However, the suburban area of Send, Ripley, Ockham and Wisely crept into the list with the 17th highest rate of burglary claims at 46.80 per cent. Surprisingly, the only rural area in the list, Broadway in the Cotswolds, ranked 9th with a rate of 47.97 burglary claims.
Overall, burglary claims were shows to have increased by 2.5 per cent since 2018.
Former burglars have revealed that a simple ‘beware of the dog’ sign can be enough to think again before breaking into your house.
The simplest deterrent is to get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on any suspicious goings-on near your property. Also if your neighbour has been feeding the cat get them to wait until your back to return the keys, rather than posting them through the letterbox. Burglars can fish keys out with something as simple as an old wire hanger.
Where did your hometown land on the list?