Where Are the Safest Places to Live In the UK?
Looking for a new home? When choosing a neighbourhood or city, you’ll want to consider not just house prices, commuting times, rail links, and the quality of local schools. You’ll also want to have a look at crime rates. An area with low crime will not only make you feel secure in your home and neighbourhood, it will mean your home insurance premiums are lower. Crime rates, particularly for burglary, in your home’s postcode are one of the factors insurers use when calculating home insurance premiums, especially for contents insurance.
So, where in the UK are you safest and how much will low local crime rates save you on your home insurance?
In this guide:
- Which areas have the lowest crime rates in the UK?
- Which areas have the lowest residential burglary rates?
- Which areas have the highest crime rates?
- Which areas have the highest rates of residential burglary?
- How does area safety impact home insurance prices?
Although crime rates have risen recently, with violent crime up 19% in the year to January 2019 and robberies up 17%, Britain is still safer than it was in the 1990s. Crime is heavily localised. While domestic burglaries and thefts were up 21% in London between 2017 and 2018, according to figures from the Metropolitan Police, in 123 postcodes across Britain, in places from Coleraine in Northern Ireland to Lamberhurst near Tunbridge Wells in Kent, not a single applicant for home insurance said they’d been burgled in the last five years.
These police force areas reported the lowest overall rates of crime, weighted by population, in England and Wales, in the year to October 2018:
- North Yorkshire
- Devon and Cornwall
- West Mercia
- Thames Valley
Home insurers are particularly concerned about the rates of domestic burglary in your area. According to the data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), 14% of the claims they’ll handle arise from theft.
These police force areas reported the lowest rates of domestic burglary, per 1000 households, in the same time frame. Overall the average across England and Wales was 12.3 incidents per 1000 households.
- Devon and Cornwall - 3.4 incidents per 1000 households
- City of London - 4.1
- Dyfed-Powys - 4.4
- Cumbria - 5.4
- Sussex - 6.1
- Norfolk - 6.3
- North Yorkshire - 6.4
- Dorset - 7.8
- Staffordshire/Wiltshire - Both 8.1
The following police force areas have the highest overall crime rates in England and Wales
- West Yorkshire
- Greater Manchester
- South Yorkshire
- Greater London
These areas have the highest rates of domestic burglary, per 1000 households.
1. West Yorkshire - 20.5 incidents per 1000 households
2. West Midlands - 18.9
3. Greater Manchester - 18.8
4. Cleveland/Bedfordshire - Both 17.7
6. Greater London - 17.0
7. South Yorkshire - 16.6
8. Merseyside - 15.0
9. Humberside - 14.9
10. Leicestershire - 14.2
When you compare home insurance, whether it’s for buildings or contents, you’ll need to supply your postcode along with other details about the property. Insurance companies consult data including crime rates, flood maps, and the historic numbers of claims they’ve received from the area to determine how risky your property will be to insure. The location of your home and safety of its neighbourhood is therefore one factor - among others, including the construction of the building, its security, and the sum insured - that determines the cost of your home insurance premiums.
Residents of postcodes plagued by theft and prone to flooding can pay up to three times as much for home insurance as those living in more wholesome, and drier, locales, according to data from home security experts Secured Home. They found that residents of West Norwood in London, Anfield in Liverpool, and the town of Bacup in Lancashire pay the most for home insurance, due to high risk of burglary and flooding. The areas of Barnstaple in Devon, Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, and Meifod in Mid-Wales are top for finding cheap home insurance.
Additionally, if you’re a victim of a crime and need to make a claim on your home insurance, you’ll lose your no-claims bonus and your premiums will be adjusted upward when your policy is renewed.
If you live in a high crime area and are confronted with expensive premiums during your insurance search, it’s crucial to shop around and compare as many quotes as possible.