The 2022 ADT Burglary Report
Many people in the UK have experienced a burglary at some point in their lives. In fact, there were 192,060 residential home break-ins in England and Wales last year.
With National Home Security Month fast approaching we wanted to find out how you can best protect your home from burglars, from leaving lights on during the night to locking away your valuables.
Below we reveal the most-burgled areas of England and Wales - based on the number of home break-ins per 1,000 residents - and the risk factors that make you more vulnerable to falling victim to this type of crime.
The best way to protect yourself from a residential break-in is by having a home security system in place, complete with an alarm system, CCTV and doorbell camera. It’s always best to look for an NSI-approved alarm system, like ADT.
The most burgled areas in England and Wales
1. Greater Manchester: 14.9 burglaries per 1,000 people
If you live in Greater Manchester, you could be more likely to be burgled than if you lived in any other area of the UK.
Looking at crime statistics for England and Wales, there were more home burglaries in Greater Manchester per 1,000 people than in any other area. In 12 months, there were 14.9 residential household burglaries per 1,000 people. Greater Manchester Police recommends installing a monitored burglar alarm, like ADT, as police are more likely to respond if the alarm is triggered.
2. South Yorkshire: 13.3 burglaries per 1,000 people
Residents of South Yorkshire could be at higher risk of falling victim to burglars, according to crime statistics for the year ending March 2022.
In 12 months, there were 13.3 residential household burglaries per 1,000 people in the South Yorkshire area, which includes Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and surrounding areas. South Yorkshire Police estimates that homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures, recommending a visual burglar alarm and smart plug light switches to deter thieves.
3. West Midlands: 13.2 burglaries per 1,000 people
Those living in the West Midlands could be at a higher risk of experiencing a home break-in than residents of other areas across England and Wales.
According to crime statistics, there were 13.2 residential household burglaries per 1,000 people during the year ending March 2022.
The least burgled areas in England and Wales
1. Devon and Cornwall: 2 burglaries per 1,000 people
Devon and Cornwall experienced the fewest burglaries per 1,000 people out of all areas in England and Wales for the year ending March 2022. In 12 months, there were just two residential household burglaries per 1,000 people.
2. Sussex: 3.2 burglaries per 1,000 people
Your home could be less likely to be burgled if you live in Sussex, compared to other areas of England and Wales. For the year ending March 2022, there were 3.2 residential household burglaries per 1,000 people.
3. Norfolk: 3.4 burglaries per 1,000 people
Norfolk is in third place as one of the least burgled areas in England and Wales. For the year ending March 2022, there were 3.4 burglaries per 1,000 people in Norfolk.
When do most burglaries occur?
Burglaries can happen at any time of day, week or month, although, it’s more common to experience a home break-in during certain times according to crime statistics.
*Due to the variation in reporting categories used by different police forces throughout England and Wales, we removed all time periods that overlap, therefore the total percentage values of all categories may not amount to 100%.
What day of the week is your house most likely to be burgled?
According to crime data, most home burglaries in England and Wales happen during the week. A total of 70% of all residential break-ins occurred on a weekday, with the remaining 30% taking place during a weekend. This could be due to the fact that there are more days during the week, thus more opportunities for thieves to strike. Although this could also be a result of burglaries taking place when many homeowners are at work.
Are you likely to be burgled by someone you know?
It might be surprising to learn that as many as 24% of all burglaries are committed by someone the victim knows well. This could be a friend, family member or neighbour that knows your routine.
19% of all burglaries for the year ending March 2022 are committed by someone that the homeowner knows by sight or speaks to, which could be a more distant neighbour or an acquaintance.
The highest proportion of burglaries (57%) are committed by strangers to the victim.
What items do burglars look for?
1. Purses / Wallets / Money / Cards: stolen in 40% of burglaries
Burglars are most likely to steal your purse, wallet, money or cards than any other item in your home. In 40% of all home break-ins between 2019 and 2020, there was a theft of a purse, wallet, cash or cards.
Burglars prefer to work quickly, often taking small items which are easy to locate and carry. Cash is untraceable so preferable for thieves, and most check under your mattress, in the cupboards and in all the hiding places you’d never think they check.
2. Jewellery / Watches: stolen in 32% of burglaries
Jewellery and watches are the next most commonly stolen items during home burglaries. The right items can be of high value and are usually easy for thieves to conceal and take.
3. Computer / Computer equipment: stolen in 23% of burglaries
Laptops, tablets and game consoles are among the most commonly taken items during residential break-ins. These items are usually easy to carry and resell for a high price, making them favourable for burglars compared to heavy TVs and PCs.
How much does a burglary cost?
On average, a burglary in England and Wales costs £2,856, as a mean average. We found that the cost of stolen items in a burglary amounts to more than £1,000 in 44% of incidents.
How to protect your home from burglary
1. Install a smart home security system
The most essential step to protecting your home is your home security. Smart systems can include PIR motion sensors, camera doorbells and touch screen alarm panels. Smart bulbs (and smart plugs) can be connected to your broadband at home, meaning you can control them remotely through an app on your phone, when you’re at home and when you’re away on holiday. Monitored home security systems also ensure that when you’re away, a dedicated alarm centre is on hand 24/7 to monitor any break-ins, giving you peace of mind.
2. Use smart lighting
Turn lights on around the home to give the appearance of occupancy. You can also set up rules with the ADT Smart Home package and smart plugs, for example, if motion is detected via an external camera, or your video doorbell then a hallway or upstairs lamp can be set to automatically come on if it’s plugged into a smart socket, instantly giving the impression someone’s at home.
3. Check your locks
Ensure all your locks are in good working order - especially garages and less commonly used windows and doors.
4. Join your local community groups
Consider taking part in your local Neighborhood Watch group to raise awareness of crime in your community. It might also be a good idea to join local community groups online for your area, such as Facebook/WhatsApp groups, to keep up to date with what’s going on, what’s being shared in your town, or if there is anything you should be on the lookout for, eg. door knocking scams.
5. Hide valuable items
When burglars enter a home the most likely items to be stolen are small, valuable items that are left in plain sight. It can make a huge difference if you hide your most valuable possessions before you leave home.
We sourced the number of residential (household) burglaries per 1,000 people for the year ending March 2022 from the Police Force Area data tables for England and Wales.
We sourced the time of household burglaries from April 2019-March 2020 from the Nature of crime statistics from the Annual data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), ‘Table 1a: Timing of when incidents of all domestic burglary occurred. We removed all times where it was recorded as “unsure” at which time the burglary occurred.
We sourced the relationship between the victim and perpetrator of burglaries from April 2019-March 2020 from the Nature of crime statistics from the Annual data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), Table 11a: Offender characteristics in incidents of all domestic burglary in a dwelling.
We sourced the most commonly stolen items during burglaries from April 2019-March 2020 from the Nature of crime statistics from the Annual data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), Table 6a: Items stolen in incidents of domestic burglary in a dwelling with entry. We removed repeated categories, including ‘jewellery’ and ‘watches’ as separate categories.
We sourced the average cost of a burglary from April 2019-March 2020 from the Nature of crime statistics from the Annual data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), Table 7a: Cost of stolen items in incidents of domestic burglary in a dwelling with entry.