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SE23 - Most Burgled. Really?
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Post: #1
14-08-2009 09:29 AM

Apparently SE23 has made it into the Top 20 for most burglaries in a post code:

Whilst i'm not saying that burglaries don't take place from time to time (we are in London after all), I find this quite suprising as it doesn't fit with my perception of the area. I'd be interested to know if other SE23'ers *regularly* hear of local burglaries?

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Post: #2
14-08-2009 10:30 AM

It's just based on people requesting quotes via Moneysupermarket so I don't think it's going to be as valid as proper crime statistics.

Also the burglary rate in the top 20 is just 0.24% in the past five years. So these figures are based on a tiny number of people from SE23 who happen to have been burgled.

Obviously another slow news day...

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Cellar Door

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Post: #3
14-08-2009 10:38 AM

I see on the Sky News article that this is based on a population of "...2.6 million home insurance quotes..." in which "...people have made claims for theft or burglary on their home insurance during the past five years."

My conclusion is that this survey might be a little flawed. For example, if I have just moved to SE23 and apply for a quote and I was burgled in, say, Willesden Green in the last five years then SE23 gets the "tick" rather than NW10.

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Post: #4
14-08-2009 11:55 AM

I think SE23 postcodes have long been regarded as higher risk by the insurance companies. I remember when I moved here 20 years ago from W11 (Notting Hill/North Kensington) I had to pay an additional premium on my existing policy even though I needed no further coverage.

But surely this survey is flawed if it is only based on people getting new insurance quotes. I wouldn't be surprised if there are many areas with much higher burglary rates where people just don't bother with insurance or can't afford it.

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Post: #5
14-08-2009 12:23 PM

Still we are lower than those hotspots of crime Clapham/Battersea and Beckenham according to this useless survey.

Why did they not take a look at police figures on reported crime which are far more reliable than claims made? Afterall, you need a police reference before making a claim (assuming you have insurance).

If you read the report ( you will find they didn't even manage to correctly spell Croyden or Beckenhem. I suspect their analysis is as shoddy as their spelling!

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Post: #6
14-08-2009 12:47 PM

Why did they not take a look at police figures on reported crime which are far more reliable than claims made?

This looks like a classic "slow news day" story, with a company press release issued to get as much free advertising as possible on a quiet Friday in August.

I particularly like their quote:

"The research highlights a broad mix of areas across the north and south of the UK so it is clear that no matter where you live, there is always a risk you could become a victim of theft or burglary." [so you'd better get some insurance from us nice people at moneysupermarket!]

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Post: #7
14-08-2009 07:15 PM

Yes, the method is flawed. If it was being done from police stats, I'd be included in making SE23 a hotspot... if it's done from insurance quotes, I'm not.

In fact, when making my claim after the burglary, I discovered I was over-insured so my premium came down... go figure!

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Forest Hill Police

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Post: #8
14-08-2009 09:03 PM

Dear all

As many of you have pointed out, these aren't police figures and the methodolgy means that they probably don't correspond with police figures. Furthermore, they represent five years of data and things change a lot over such a period. I regularly view detailed crime maps for Lewisham Borough and Forest Hill Ward is rarely the most burgled Ward in Lewisham let alone in London. In fact I have just examined a police map of burglaries for Lewisham Borough for four weeks up to 5th August that shows Forest Hill ward had four burglaries in this period of a total 106 across lewisham Borough. So Forest Hill was a lot quieter for burglaries than many wards in Lewisham in this period.

Having said that, police analysis shows that Forest Hill has had a growing burglary problem in recent weeks that is a concern to Lewisham Police and us as the Safer Neighbourhood Team and we are planning some measures to tackle this. This growing problem can also be seen at the Met's Crime Mapping website which shows that Forest Hill Ward had an above average number of burglaries in June 2009.

Met crime mapping website:

However, residents can take simple precautions that reduce the chances of being burgled. For instance, ensuring windows are shut when you are out, leaving lights on when you are out, fitting secure locks etc. Many burglaries are opportunist so don't give them the opportunity.

Forest Hill SNT carry out security surveys whereby we will come to your house and check the security such as locks etc and give crime prevention advice. If you would like such a survey, please reply to this thread and we will set one up for you.

Kind regards

Forest Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team

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Post: #9
15-08-2009 09:43 AM

Just to say a massive thank you to Forest Hill Police for such a detailed response.


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Post: #10
17-08-2009 10:21 AM

Id like to say that its worth getting the police crime prevention officer around to check out your place. Unfortunately I did as a result of getting burgled - but it is certainly worth while and I found a lot of things that I could easily change that I believe have helped make my property more secure.

One other place near where I live (that I know of) has been burgled over the last year. We've also had a number of communal things taken from around our development (like hosepipes, cleaning equipment etc). As a result of extra vigilance, Ive spotted a number of people hanging around our building and as a result of confronting them I would hope Ive managed to prevent more crime.

I dont know how it all compares nationally (or even regionally) but it is a problem in Forest Hill, even if not as large as reported.

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Post: #11
17-08-2009 03:14 PM

I get the impression burglaries go up in the summer months because of school holidays (more opportunist burglaries) and (usually) being nice weather more windows are left open.

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Post: #12
17-08-2009 06:38 PM

I'm intrigued by the Met Police crime map linked from the Forest Hill Police posting above. Seems like virtually all of London has an average level of crime for London except for higher levels in Westminster and Camden. Not only does this not reflect our perception that some Boroughs and Wards have higher levels of crime, but it's difficult to understand how some can be above average but none below average! Can anyone enlighten me?ConfusedConfused

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Post: #13
18-08-2009 05:38 PM

It doesnt surprise me. We got done about a few weeks ago - we're based in an upper floor flat just off London Road. Never been burgled before ever and never want to again - such a nasty experience.

Basically we had scaffolding up for a week and got burgled the one night we were out. This happened to someone else further on down the road I heard who also had scaffolding up. The scaffolding wasnt visible from the front and you wouldnt know it was even there unless you got the tip off. Ive heard another similar incidence recently.

Its pretty clear that there are some inside jobs going on at the momment - so just a word of warning to people, if you currently have any scaffolding up at the momment - be extra vigilent. I would go as far to say - dont even leave your home while its up where possible because these guys are proffesional thieves - who operate in business like fashion.

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Post: #14
19-08-2009 07:50 AM

Interesting, the only time we have been burgled was when we had scaffolding outside and the thieves pulled out our bathroom window. I have to say the police response was great, we arrived home minutes after the burglar alarm had gone off to find the place swarming with police.

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Post: #15
19-08-2009 01:54 PM

Hmm good advice. A neighbour opposite us got burglered a few weeks ago (don't know about scaffolding) but at the moment a neighbour a few houses away has scaffolding up, I should warn them. I always lock my side access to the garden because often I leave the gaden door open for air in summer and then I need to change a poo bum on the little one and go upstairs while leaving the garden door open...oppurtunity makes the thief as they say...

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Post: #16
26-08-2009 12:39 PM

From the BBC News Website:

"The most stringent initiatives against being broken into are taken by the very people who are less likely to be burgled, people who live in nice leafy suburbs in nice semis."

For full article see:

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Post: #17
26-08-2009 12:42 PM

And gobsmacking how many people (see at the end of the article) are quite happy to tell everyone a) their full names b) where they live and c) that they routinely leave their doors open!

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Post: #18
21-10-2009 01:53 PM

hmm yes. i saw this poll when it came out. I think it should be more accurately titled a poll of who claims on their insurance most.

I don't see forest hill as a heavily crime ridden area, but it is all about opportunity. Unfortunately for me i used to live in a ground floor flat in forest hill that was sheltered from the street, i was broken into three times in one year, and then swiftly moved! (it made packing easier, at least) the flat was an easy target, the burglars knew it, and thus it singlehandedly pushed up the crime figures for forest hill as a whole. since moving (still in forest hill) i have experienced no problems at all, and still very much love the area.

statistics are just numbers, it takes a human mind to create meaning from them!

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Post: #19
21-10-2009 01:58 PM

I appreciate the criminals look for easiet options but main problem is lack of punishment when caught.
Breaking and entering should be minimum of 5 years served in prison rather than 30 mins community service which is usually not served.

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Post: #20
21-10-2009 05:59 PM

It has been known for many years that burglars trawl around areas looking for buildings with scaffoldings around them. They know that second floors are usually much less secure that ground floors. When we had a scaffolding around our block I noticed a car circling around waying us up.

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