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How safe is your area?

Our new research, which is based on a sample size of more than 150,000 home insurance policies, shows that the number of burglary alarms installed in households across the UK has fallen by almost 10% over the last year.

Adding to these concerns is the lack of neighbourhood watch schemes throughout the UK, which are intended to prevent crime. Despite a growing sense of community throughout multiple lockdowns, the data finds that 68% of neighbourhoods do not currently have a neighbourhood watch in operation.

With that in mind, we’ve created the interactive tool below to allow you to check the burglary rate in your area. The tool can also be used by prospective homebuyers to help them figure out which areas have the highest proportion of burglar alarms, how many of those alarms are maintained and monitored, and whether the area has an active neighbourhood watch scheme, simply by typing in their postcode. The aim is to help communities be more aware of the situation in their neighbourhood so they can take steps to improve precautions.

UK HOUSEHOLDS UNPREPARED FOR INFLUX IN CRIME

More or less all of the Covid-19 restrictions that the UK has been living with over the last two years have been dropped. And while there is much cause for celebration, a degree of caution is similarly wise, as more people return to the office full-time and spend more time out of the house.

However, this time health is not the watchword, but security. As homes are increasingly left empty and unattended, there are fears that the number of residential burglaries could spike dramatically in the next couple of months. ONS data reveals that residential burglaries across England and Wales fell by as much as 30% as a result of lockdowns during the pandemic.

These numbers could likely return to ‘normal’ pre-pandemic levels, as people are spending less time at home and are only starting to get to grips once more with safety measures. Another contributing factor may be that households are having to prioritise spending, given the recent spike in living costs – perhaps making their homes unprepared for this anticipated surge in crime.

In fact, our new findings, which are based on a sample size of more than 150,000 home insurance policies, shows that the number of burglary alarms installed in households across the UK has fallen by almost 10% over the last year.

Adding to these concerns is the lack of neighbourhood watch schemes throughout the UK, which are intended to prevent crime. Despite a growing sense of community throughout multiple lockdowns, the data finds that 68% of neighbourhoods do not currently have a neighbourhood watch in operation.

The renewed interest in holidays abroad means now is the time to be thinking about simple steps to keep homes protected this Spring. Here are some of our top tips for that:

  • Do not or delay broadcasting your holiday on social media and make sure your settings are set to private to avoid alerting strangers to the location.
  • Statistics show most burglaries are spare of the moment decisions when an opportunity presents itself, therefore be sure to lock away bikes and outdoor equipment in the garage and don’t leave keys and wallets visible from the front door and windows.
  • Also keep an eye out for any unusual chalk markings outside your property, it could be a signal someone has been watching your area for opportunities.
  • Invest in light timers to switch on your lights as it approaches dusk to give the appearance that someone is home. Also, outdoor security lights that switch on when someone approaches the property can act as a deterrent.
  • If installing a security system is too expensive right now, homeowners can pick up CCTV signs from their local police station.
  • Protect finances, property and valuables with an appropriate insurance policy such as home and travel insurance, and be careful to answer the questions accurately, such as days the property will be left unoccupied – failure to do so can void the policy.

Greg Wilson, Quotezone.co.uk’s Founder, comments: “Most burglaries happen between 3 and 5pm, but over the course of the pandemic, we’ve witnessed a fall in the number of residential burglaries as households have been occupied most of the time with furlough and work from home. As restrictions are lifted and foreign holidays return, people will be spending less time at home, so they need to protect their property and their valuable contents, as best they can.

“It remains surprising that so few people across the UK have alarm systems or are involved in neighbourhood watch groups. Now is a good time to rethink the way that households are protecting their homes. Even if an alarm system is not something people can invest in right now, there are many other tips to secure your home and leave you and your community feeling safer this spring.”

Home insurance in the UK typically includes two specific types of coverage, one of which is designed to protect the house and buildings, and the other that is intended to cover the contents, although home owners usually opt for a combined buildings and contents insurance policy that includes both of these under one policy. While basic policies can vary, most cover damage and loss that occurs due to theft, or damage caused by attempted theft.


This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.