Burglary claim ‘hotspot’ postcodes revealed by theft insurance claim study

Hadleigh High Street Picture: SIMON PARKER

Hadleigh High Street Picture: SIMON PARKER

Suffolk’s burglary ‘hotspots’ have been revealed following analysis of contents insurance claim data.

The IP7 postcode, which includes Hadleigh, was deemed Suffolk’s ‘most burgled’ area in a study of 2.5 million UK quotes in 2017/18.

It was among five to surpass the national average of 15.57 contents theft claims per 1,000 quotes via the MoneySuperMarket website.

Residents of the Eye area made the fewest claims – 3.5 per 1,000 – based on five-year claims history, while north west Ipswich had the highest rate of claims from the town’s postcodes (17.98), followed by the south west (17.48), north east (14.12) and south east (13.93).

Suffolk police said it was important to consider statistics may not fully reflect the number of reported crimes – with some householders making a claim but choosing not to go through with it, and others not in a financial position to hold insurance.

MoneySuperMarket created a post code map of contents theft claim rates per 1,000 insurance quotes P

MoneySuperMarket created a post code map of contents theft claim rates per 1,000 insurance quotes Picture: FOTOEDU - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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According to the force, residential burglaries, including sheds and outbuildings, reached 1,949 in 2017 (six per 1,000 homes) and 2,365 in 2018 (7.2 per 1,000).

In September, Frank Benet, of no fixed abode, was jailed for five years and four months for 25 burglaries in Suffolk and Norfolk, including 21 under Operation Converter, encouraging offenders to admit crimes to be taken into consideration upon sentence.

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MoneySuperMarket found Birmingham postcode B95 topped national rankings, with a rate of 50.46 theft claims per 1,000 quotes.

Analysis showed recent victims of burglary paid an average 16.8% more for contents insurance.

Frank Benet, 36, was jailed for more than five years after admitting 25 burglaries Picture: SUFFOLK

Frank Benet, 36, was jailed for more than five years after admitting 25 burglaries Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

Meanwhile, consumer research revealed 44% of UK householders take no precautionary measures to protect their home, including alarms, window locks or cameras.

A police spokesman said tackling domestic burglary remained a key priority, with regular proactive campaigns often yielding arrests and convictions.

“The force has a strategy around tackling burglary and officers closely monitor and scrutinise burglary figures to help understand any crime trends or particular ‘hotspot’ areas so we ensure we are deploying our resources effectively,” they added.

“We are also continuing to work really hard with Suffolk residents and partners to do all we can to prevent crimes happening in the first place. This includes actively encouraging residents to invest in enhanced security measures, especially modern technological solutions such as CCTV, doorbell cameras and alarms.”

Hadleigh councillor, Kathryn Grandon

Hadleigh councillor, Kathryn Grandon - Credit: Archant

Other prevention measures to secure homes and vehicles from opportunist thieves include ensuring doors and windows are not left open, or property left on display in vehicles.

MoneySuperMarket data scientist Emma Garland 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.”

Babergh councillor for Hadleigh (South) ward, Kathryn Grandon, was surprised the IP7 postcode came top of the local list for contents theft claims.

“I wouldn’t say it’s an area blighted by burglary,” she added.

“In fact, it’s an area people say they feel safe to live.

“I think it’s a problem that has arisen recently, as a result of opportunists, rather than a characteristic of the area.

“It’s home to quite a few neighbourhood watch schemes, which are a very good idea, and we should all look out for each other, but it’s more difficult for properties with a lot of space between them.

“It’s quite sad to hear, but I don’t think it’s something people live in fear of.

“Hadleigh residents will be more aware of a recent spate of commercial burglaries.”

Between December 12 and 14, break-ins were reported at two high street premises, a site near Bridge Street, and a home in Hadleigh Road, Holton St Mary.

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