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29th Jun, 2022

Warwickshire crime chief calls insurance-based burglary figures 'data-grabbing headlines'

Editorial Correspondent 17th Jan, 2019 Updated: 17th Jan, 2019

CLAIMS Henley-in-Arden is the UK’s top burglary hotspot have been rubbished by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.

Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket 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.

But Mr Seccombe argued the figures were unreliable and official crime data said differently.

He said: “It was something of a surprise that Henley-in-Arden should be singled out in this way, as it is not. This latest headline-grabbing data is based on insurance quotes – of which there may be multiple for the same address and in any case, does not cover all claims for insurance or indeed burglaries where no claim is made. There will likely be many areas across the country with much higher burglary rates than Henley but this is not reflected by these statistics.

“It is therefore very difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from the data – other than it has been very effective at getting publicity for that particular insurance broker’s website.

“Tackling burglary remains something that Warwickshire Police takes very seriously, wherever it occurs, and it is why they have successfully undertaken specific operations to tackle residential burglary and car-key break-ins over the past 18 months.”

Henley, 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.

Henley was followed in the burglary hotspot rankings by the village of Ingatestone (49.76) and the town of Ilford (47.56), both in Essex. Solihull, in the neighbouring B94 postcode, was sixth in the rankings with a rate of 45.80.

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 per cent 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.

Mr Seccombe has urged residents to secure their homes to make life difficult for burglars, and said a number of schemes were in place to support residents in more rural and isolated areas.

He further advised households to report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to police.

Visit www.warwickshirebusinesswatch.co.uk for more information and advice.

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