At the Safe Shop, we’re passionate about keeping people’s houses secure. As its National Home Security Month we decided to take a look at the facts, to determine the most secure areas in the country.
The place where we all should feel the safest is at home. Although burglaries have seen a decline in recent years the risk is still very apparent. In October in particular, burglaries have been seen to rise by up to a staggering 20% as the nights draw in and students return to their digs. We’ve ranked 83 cities and towns and calculated their burglary “Risk Score” which gives us an indication of which homeowners have the lowest and highest risk of being burgled.
Our ‘safety league table’ was calculated using sales data from the Safe Shop, coupled with national statistics on domestic burglary in 2012/13 obtained from the ONS, creating a measure of the security consciousness of each city and ranking them using the burglar “risk score”. The safest cities are considered to be those with a low rate of domestic burglaries, and the highest score for security awareness. This ‘security awareness’ measure is based on sales data from the UK’s largest home security provider from each city, but also factors in population size and burglary rates.
Anthony Neary, our security expert, explains that “by using product sales rather than just Police burglary figures we are able to determine which areas of the UK are actively improving the security of their properties rather than being a burglary statistic.”
The Safety League Table
As part of our study, Norwich came out on top as the safest city to live in with the lowest risk of burglary thanks to their low burglary rate and high security awareness score. Part of this could be attributed to the work done by Norwich Council who have invested in new CCTV in the city and actively promote community safety. York, the only Northern town in the top 10, has a dedicated Burglar Task Group in which multiple agencies work together to help prevent burglary.
The figures shown in the Safety League Table have been normalised from 1 – 100 give each area an accurate and fair burglary “Risk Score” and “Security Awareness Score”.
In general, as expected, cities with lower burglary rates had higher security awareness scores. Although there are innumerable factors that affect the burglary rates of a city we can assume that being more aware of local security issues, such as installing equipment like door and window locks, reduces the risk of becoming a victim.
Burglary Risk Grid
Our Burglary Risk Grid highlights areas that have the lowest and highest burglary rates according to ONS data. This data has then been compared to how many security products have been bought in each area over the last three years. The data reveals that many areas are in the green quadrants of the Security Grid showing which homeowners are least at risk of being burgled. This data is purely indicative and highlights differences in the data we have available to us.
Being vigilant about home security is important. However, a determined burglar may still gain access. There are other precautions we can take to minimise theft. A ‘security safe’ is one of the most useful deterrents when combating a burglar – especially for those irreplaceable items. The majority of burglaries are carried out by opportunist thieves who do not have the necessary, equipment, know how or time to break into a safe. It’s worth remembering you can replace a TV, it’s the small sentimental items that may not hold great value but cannot be replaced that you should keep in a safe. We all hope that nobody will gain access to our homes, but if they do, a safe can be a vital last line of defence.
Home Security Month runs throughout October, in line with the event we asked Anthony for his 5 top tips to keep your home safe this Autumn.
Anthony’s Top Home Security Tips for National Home Security Month
- With the dark nights approaching fit a security light. If you have one fitted make sure it’s working. People forget this sort of the thing over the bright summer months when they’re not needed.
- Fit an alarm or at least a dummy alarm box.
- Ensure your locks meet your insurance guidelines.
- Buy a safe for irreplaceable items. Don’t think a safe is only for cash or expensive jewellery.
- If you’re away at night or you work late fit light timers to simulate the house being occupied.