Despite many of us staying at home in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, official data shows that 252,828 domestic burglaries occurred between January and November last year – equivalent to around 754 per day, or 31 per hour.
To investigate which area is the most burglary-prone, we analysed official data from 41 different police forces in England and Wales.
According to our analysis of police force data, the London-based police force recorded 56,279 home burglaries between January and November 2020. This means that The Met dealt with approximately 167 robberies per day across the 620 square miles the force serves, including all 32 boroughs within Greater London (excluding the City of London).
By comparison, that’s a decrease of 23% from the same period in 2019 where there were 72,625 burglaries across all domestic settings in the vicinity (around 217 per day). We expect this decrease to be due to “stay at home” rules deterring burglars from breaking and entering.
Thieves in Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton kept West Midlands Police busy in 2020, with the police force recording 18,115 burglaries – one of the highest rates of theft in England and Wales – which equates to around 54 domestic burglaries per day.
Despite the high number, this is a 20% decrease from the same period in 2019 when 22,709 burglaries were reported – approximately 67 per day.
Residents in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield experienced the third highest number of home robberies in 2020. According to West Yorkshire police reports, 14,923 instances of domestic break-in were recorded between January and November, which equates to around 44 burglaries per day.
The police force, which serves approximately 2.2 million people in West Yorkshire, had a busy year in 2019 too. Official data shows that 21,502 burglary cases were recorded between the same period – 64 per day. This means that the police force saw a 31% decrease in burglaries in 2020, compared to the year before.
The South Yorkshire police force covers 1.4 million people living predominantly in the urban centres which include Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Barnsley. Residents in these areas experienced the fourth highest levels of burglary in England and Wales in 2020, according to our analysis of police force data, with 10,128 robberies recorded between January and November.
By comparison, in the same period in 2019, South Yorkshire police dealt with 13,569 burglaries across 11 months – a decrease of 25% when compared to 2020. According to our analysis, this equates to around 40 burglaries per day.
Lancashire Constabulary covers an area of 1,189 square miles, which is separated by three ‘divisions’ – East, West, and South. The county has a population of nearly 1.5 million with a rich diversity of communities, all with specific policing needs – notably burglaries, as our analysis of police data found that 8,629 burglaries were recorded between January and November 2020. This works out at approximately 25 per day.
When compared with the same period in 2019, Lancashire Constabulary recorded 11,470 domestic burglaries, which means that the police force saw a 25% decrease in 2020, compared to the year before.
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Residents in the City of London experienced the least number of robberies last year. According to our analysis of crime data, 190 burglaries occurred between January and November 2020, which accounts for around one every two days. By comparison, in the same period in 2019, the force recorded 303 robberies in the city – a difference of 113 robberies. This means that the police force saw a 37% decrease in burglaries in 2020, compared to the year before.
The police force oversees all crime in the single London borough, home to approximately 9,400 residents. Owing to the small population and small city, this may be the reason why the number of burglaries recorded is significantly lower than any other police force in England and Wales.
According to Dyfed-Powys Police crime reports, 1,267 instances of domestic break-in were recorded between January and November by the Welsh police force. By recording approximately three robberies per day, the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, and Powys are among some of the safest in England and Wales.
By comparison, official data shows that 1,529 burglary cases were recorded between the same period in 2019 – around four per day. This means that 2020 saw a 17% decrease in burglaries in 2020, compared to the year before.
Cumbria Constabulary was fairly quiet when it came to domestic burglary in 2020, with the police force recording the third lowest number of robberies of all 41 forces analysed. Official data shows that the police force logged 1,547 property thefts between January and November 2020, which equates to around four per day.
This is a 19% decrease from the same period in 2019 as 1,916 property thefts were investigated by the police force – approximately five per day.
Wiltshire Police recorded the fourth lowest number of property thefts in 2020 after 1,791 burglaries were investigated across January to November – approximately five per day. In comparison to 2019 records where 2,763 robberies were recorded by the police force, 2020 saw a 35% decrease in burglaries across the county of Wiltshire.
Gwent Police covers 600 square miles with approximately 50 miles of coastline in the south of Wales. Our analysis of police data found that 2,067 burglaries were recorded between January and November 2020 – approximately six per day.
When compared with the same period in 2019, Gwent Police recorded 2,392 domestic robberies. This means that the police force saw a 15% decrease in burglaries in 2020, compared to the year before.
Despite there being 252,828 instances of domestic theft in 2020, stats show that the number of burglaries fell by almost a third (30%) when compared to the same period in 2019, where 330,455 robberies took place. For the most part, we expect this decrease to be a direct result of the “stay at home” measures put in place by the government in 2020, discouraging burglars from breaking and entering whilst homeowners are at home.
This led us to investigate which areas saw the biggest decreases in 2020. Our analysis found that the City of London Police Force saw the largest decrease in reported burglaries last year after instances of theft dropped by 37% and following closely behind, with a 35% decrease, is North Yorkshire Police and Wiltshire Police. On the other hand, Norfolk Constabulary and Gwent Police saw the smallest decreases in domestic robbery, with each police force recording a 13% and 14% decrease, respectively.
Whenever you leave your home, always ensure your property is secure. Get into the habit of following a routine to make sure you don’t forget anything obvious before leaving that may entice burglars to try to gain entry into your home.
Before you go out, follow these simple steps:
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