HENLEY-IN-ARDEN has been named the UK’s burglary hotspot.
Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket has listed the most and least burgled places in the country following analysis of more than 2.5 million home contents insurance claims by postcode over the past two years.
And affluent Henley, where the average house price is just over £450,000, topped the rankings of targets for thieves with a rate of 50.46 claims per 1,000 quotes.
The historic Warwickshire town, with a population of around 3,800, falls in the Birmingham postcode district B95, where four in ten residents are deemed middle or upper class.
Solihull, in the neighbouring B94 postcode, was sixth in the rankings with a rate of 45.80.
Henley was followed in the hotspot rankings by the village of Ingatestone (49.76) and the town of Ilford (47.56), both in Essex.
The town with the lowest burglary rate in the UK was Whitehaven in Cumbria with a rate of 0.76, followed by Falmouth (0.92) in Cornwall, and Cockermouth (1.08), also in Cumbria.
Burglaries were up by 16 percent nationally in 2018 compared to the previous year.
The survey revealed almost half of Brits had taken no precautionary measures, such as installing window locks or burglar alarms, to protect their property.
The analysis found those who fall victim to burglars have to pay an average of 16.8 percent more for their contents insurance policy.
Emma Garland, data scientist at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Over the past 12 months, burglars have mostly been targeting suburbs and urban areas, with the safest areas dominated by smaller towns and villages.
“Anyone that has ever been burgled will tell you that the cost goes beyond the value of the items stolen, from the psychological impact of your home being violated to the difficulty of replacing things with sentimental value. That’s why it’s surprising to see that almost half of people haven’t put any additional protection in place for their home, despite one in five believing they live in a burglary hotspot.
“For thieves, it’s all about risk versus reward – if the reward looks likely to exceed the risk, they are going to target that home. Homeowners must do as much as possible to tip the balance in their favour and make things harder for burglars.”
“If you take precautions – such as fitting new door and window locks, installing bar windows where necessary and using security cameras – you can reduce both your contents insurance and your anxiety about getting burgled.”