Households in parts of Ilford, east , suffer the worst rates of burglary in the UK, according to insurance forms, although the number of break-ins continues to fall nationally.
Analysis of 1.8m home insurance quotes by Moneysupermarket.com over the past five years names the IG4 postcode, covering an area between Redbridge and Gants Hill in east London, as worst for burglary across the UK.
London took 16 out of the top 20 worst postcode districts for burglary, although parts of Cambridge and Chorlton-cum-Hardy in were also among the crime hotspots.
had the lowest burglary rate in the UK, although Moneysupermarket said there were numerous postcode districts, often in rural and remote areas, where burglary has fallen to virtually zero.
The , issued last week, revealed that domestic burglary offences fell by 8% in the year from October 2015 to September 2016, and are down 71% since 1995.
Even in the Redbridge/Gants Hill area, where the analysis found that 55 homes out of every 1,000 said they suffered a burglary in the past five years, the crime rate has fallen slightly from last year. But it topped the table because the postcode district that was worst last year, Dulwich in south London, reported a 29% fall in burglaries.
Neighbouring areas to Redbridge, including Barkingside, Goodmayes and Hainault also featured among the worst parts of Britain for break-ins.
Redbridge residents blamed the close proximity to motorways for the area’s high crime statistics, plus a drop in the number of police on local streets.
Redbridge council said the figures did not present a complete picture. “
Moneysupermarket base their information on insurance claim quote figures. These figures do not reflect actual burglaries in the borough or match figures held by the police which means it’s difficult to make accurate comparisons.”
Jason Gwillim, Metropolitan police chief superintendent, said: “Currently, Redbridge borough is seeing a 41% reduction in residential burglaries since the start of the mayors’ MOPAC challenge in 2012. This is a fantastic achievement, but we will ensure that we do not rest on our laurels. We are currently also in the process of rolling out property marking into properties across London under the MetTrace programme.”
Local councillor Robert Cole, said: “It is one of the more expensive areas of Ilford, with house prices averaging above £500,000, but we have always had a relatively high number of burglaries, which is because we are so close to the M11 and the north circular. Gangs can get in and get away quickly. That said, the number of break-ins is falling.”
He added that while there used to be five police officers covering the area, there were now only two, with the borough focusing resources elsewhere. There are plans to put another bobby back on the beat to reassure local residents.
While fear of crime remains high – and the traumatic effects can be serious – the chances of suffering a break-in in Britain are falling to new lows nearly every year. The street value of stolen household electrical goods such as televisions has collapsed, making theft much less lucrative, while the profits from cybercrime outside the home have soared. However, rose significantly in 2016.
Kevin Pratt, of Moneysupermarket.com, said: “It is encouraging to see the overall rate of burglary claims has dropped 8% in the last year, in line with the fall in recorded burglaries. That’s no doubt thanks to improvements in home security, although the falling cost of electrical items, such as TVs, might be significant as, simply put, there’s less need for burglars to steal items than in the past.”
The price of home insurance rose last year by about 6%, according to the AA, but it attributed that to issues such as flooding rather than burglary. The average UK buildings and contents insurance policy is just £160 a year, down by a tenth in the past five years, despite hikes in insurance premium tax.
Remarkably, Moneysupermarket recorded 123 districts of the UK where not a single applicant for home insurance said they had suffered a burglary at any time in the past five years.
The list includes Coleraine in Northern Ireland, Shetland in Scotland, Llandrindod Wells in Wales, Okehampton in Devon and Lamberhurst near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.
Moneysupermarket said that while it found 123 postcodes where no customer reported a burglary within the last five years, “this does not mean that there have not been any burglaries in the last five years, but rather that any burglaries that did occur were not reported by our customers”.
But it added: “We do find plenty of very rural postcodes, where the true burglary rate is likely to be very low.” Some city centre locations also reported zero claims, but this is likely a result of the postcodes being dominated by commercial office buildings rather than residential households.
1. IG4 Redbridge (Ilford) 54.7
2. N20 Whetstone, Totteridge, Oakleigh Park (north London) 52.6
3. RM6 Chadwell Heath, Marks Gate, Little Heath, Goodmayes (north), Hainault (South) (Romford) 51.5
4. LS5 Hawksworth, Kirkstall (north Leeds) 48.3
5. IG5 Clayhall (Ilford) 45.9
6. SW14 Mortlake, East Sheen (south London) 43.7
7. SE21 Dulwich, Dulwich Village, West Dulwich, Tulse Hill (part) (south London) 43.5
8. N21 Winchmore Hill, Bush Hill, Grange Park (north London) 42.8
9. SE24 Herne Hill, Tulse Hill (part), Dulwich (part) (south London) 42.6
10. SE27 West Norwood, Gipsy Hill (part) (south London) 42.5
11. N10 Muswell Hill (north London) 42.2
12. CB5 (East) 41.8
13. UB5 Greenford, Northolt (west London) 41.6
14. BR4 West Wickham (south London) 41.2
15. M21 Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Barlow Moor (Manchester) 40.5
16. IG2 Gants Hill, Newbury Park, Aldborough Hatch (Ilford) 39.4
17. LS8 Fearnville, Gipton, Gledhow (Leeds) 39.3
18. N11 New Southgate, Friern Barnet, Bounds Green, Arnos Grove (part) (north London) 39.2
19. IG6 Barkingside, Fullwell Cross, Hainault (south), Fairlop (Ilford) 39.0
20. SE26 Sydenham, Crystal Palace (part) (south London) 38.8
UK average: 12.44
Analysis based on 1.84m quotes run on Moneysupermarket, January 2015 to December 2016 inclusive. Contents theft rate calculated using five years’ claim history for theft of contents (rate per 1,000 quotes).