UK Crime Statistics and their effect on Property Selection and Home Insurance

If we are to believe the scare stories that permeate much of the media in the UK, Britain is becoming a far more dangerous place to live in. Such stories routinely suggest that rates of crime are rising constantly, particularly crimes such as burglary and violent attacks, and this means that if you ask a great many people living in the country whether the rates of crimes such as burglary had risen since the 1990s, they would probably argue that they have.

In Reality…

However, the reality is more complicated because – for much of the period since the 1990s, the levels of crimes such as burglary have been declining – in direct contrast to the stories promoted by the media . This is not to suggest that people living in the UK do not need to protect their home and contents with home insurance cover – we are unlikely to live in a society where that is not necessary any time soon – just that the UK is not the ever-worsening lawless nightmare presented by some stories in the media. However, although the rates for crimes like burglaries have been steadily falling since the 1990s, this situation is complicated by the figures released for last year.

The annual crime figures for the UK in 2010/11 showed that the rates of burglary had risen for the first time in a number of years – increasing by 14%. To demonstrate how much of a contrast with the prevailing trend this represents, it should be borne in mind that the burglary rates for 2009/10 were the lowest they had been in thirty years – far lower than the levels for the 1990s. Perhaps this turnaround is a result of the economic crisis, but it certainly indicates the continued importance of securing home insurance if you are thinking of buying property in the UK– whether it is comprehensive cover or simply individual buildings or contents cover.

Compare Crime Rates

If you are looking to purchase property in a new location in the UK, knowing the safety rankings and burglary rates of different towns and cities is particularly important and will certainly help when it comes to securing a good insurance deal. Rankings like this not only assist in making sure you are kept safe and secure; but being savvy about the safety rating of your neighbourhood can result in discounts on your home insurance rates after all. You can compare the crime rates of different towns at

In 2011, Glasgow was awarded the title of the safest city in the UK. Having fought off competition from Aberdeen, Birmingham, Belfast, and London, Glasgow ranked joint 44th in Mercer’s 2011 Quality of Living Report. Aberdeen tied for 44th place, whilst Birmingham ranked 53rd and London was 68th. 2011 was the first time Mercer included a list of safest cities in its report, and top of the list was Luxembourg, ahead of Bern, Helsinki, and Zurich.

Another survey conducted of UK towns and cities revealed that Eastbourne in East Sussex had the lowest burglary rate. The survey used data from different insurance companies to compile rankings for UK postcodes, and the BN23 postcode had the joint lowest incidences of burglaries in the whole country. Between 2007 and the date of the survey, burglary in the whole of Eastbourne fell by 39%. This was a much greater improvement than the targeted 15% drop, following a focus enacted by Sussex Police and the Community Safety Partnership.

Many areas across the UK have been working hard to improve safety ratings and the frequency of burglaries. Eastbourne has been one of the UK’s greatest success stories so far. In 2006, statistics for burglary in Eastbourne were the worst in Sussex, yet are now amongst the best. The survey, conducted by price comparison website Money Supermarket, analysed insurance claims for specific areas in the UK. Between December 2010 and November 2011, there were no burglary insurance claims per 1000 enquires for the Langney area of Eastbourne, with the postcode BN23.

Councillor Margaret Bannister said that the survey confirmed the partnership between the Community Safety Partnership and Sussex Police is making a difference. She added, “However, there is always more work to be done to reduce even further the rate of burglary and other crimes across Eastbourne, and assist those who are the victims of crime.” The Partnership’s original name was the Crime Reduction Partnership, changed in April 2011 to better reflect the Partnership’s aims. They used to concentrate on reducing crime but are now more committed to improving quality of life, quality of environment, as well as crime and anti-social behaviour.

Though crime rates in the UK are improving, it is always recommended that you take necessary precautions with security equipment and alarms, as well as comprehensive home insurance cover.

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Formerly Finance and Operations Director of anmarketing agency. Now luckily semi-retired. Amateur interior design buff, constantly experimenting on my own home (much to the chargrins of hubby) and passionate about anything to do with home interiors and improvements. Wish my house was bigger!

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