Almost 9 in 10 burglary crimes unresolved

23rd June 2016

  • Police in England and Wales solved 12.2 per cent of burglary crimes in the 12 months to March 2014
  • Just 8.3 in every 100 burglary crimes solved in Wiltshire – the police force area with the lowest solved rate
  • Dyfed-Powys police force has the highest solved rate and the lowest incidence of burglaries
  • There are 3.78 full time police officers per 1000 of the population in England and Wales but some areas have almost half this

Police solved 12.2 per cent1 of burglary crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2014 but there was significant variation between forces, according to new analysis from Churchill Home Insurance.

In Wiltshire, just 8.3 in every 100 burglary crimes was solved, meaning the perpetrator was caught and a formal punishment such as being charged, fined, or cautioned was issued. This makes it the police force authority with the lowest rate of solved burglaries over that period.

In contrast, more than three times that proportion (28.7 per cent) of burglary crimes were solved in Dyfed-Powys police authority, which has the highest solved rate across England and Wales.

Table one: Police force authorities with the lowest solved rates for burglary

Rank Police force authority  % of crimes solved 
1 Wiltshire 8.3
2 Sussex 8.5
3 Surrey 8.8
4 South Yorkshire 9
5 West Mercia 9.2
6 West Midlands 9.5
7 Humberside 9.9
8 Derbyshire 10
9 Warwickshire 10
10 Lincolnshire 10

Source: Home Office 2013/14


Churchill’s analysis also looked at the overall rate of burglaries2 in England and Wales for the year ending March 2015. Dyfed-Powys police has the lowest incidence of burglaries with 2.5 in every 1000 people falling victim to burglary every year. This is a stark contrast to Humberside police force authority and West Yorkshire police force authority, where 10.8 in every 1000 fall victim to this type of crime. For England and Wales as a whole, 7.2 people per 1000 of the population fall victim to burglary.

Table two: Police force authorities with the highest rates of burglary

Rank Police force authorities Number of burglaries
Per 1000 of
the population
1 Humberside 10.8
2 West Yorkshire 10.8
3 South Yorkshire 10.4
4 Greater Manchester 10.3
5 Cleveland 9.1
6 Metropolitan Police 8.8
7 Lancashire 8.4
8 Merseyside 8.1
9 Gloucestershire 8.1
10 West Midlands 8.1

Source: ONS 2014/15


Across England and Wales there are 3.78 full-time police officers3 for every 1000 people, but this level is by no means uniform. In Lincolnshire – the police force with the lowest full time presence – there are just 2.09 officers per 1000 people, whereas the Metropolitan police force, which has the highest proportion, has over double that at 5.51.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said: “It’s important that householders are aware of the potential threats to their home, which vary significantly depending on where you live. There also appears to be quite a contrast between the highest and lowest authorities in terms of police officer cover, with some areas having more than double the number of full-time officers per head of the population than others.

“Victims of burglary don’t just suffer from financial loss but also emotional trauma, with many subsequently feeling insecure in their own home. While some items like electrical goods are easily replaced, others with sentimental value are often lost forever once stolen.

“Whilst there are clearly big differences between burglary rates by area, the precautions householders should take remain the same. All households should have a comprehensive buildings and contents insurance policy in place in case the worse happens and burglaries do occur.”

For the year ending March 2014, the proportion of adults who said they felt the police did a good or excellent job was 63 per cent4 – a figure that has increased consecutively over the past nine years.

Churchill offers the following tips to help reduce the chances of household crime: 

  • Security measures – Install security measures such as security lights, anti-vandal/climb paint, and a home alarm
  • Don’t advertise – Avoid leaving packaging for expensive items outside the house if it’s in view
  • Keep it clean – The ‘broken windows’ theory suggests that unmaintained properties are more susceptible to crime, so repair broken windows/tiles, keep your garden lawn in check, and don’t let rubbish build up around your property
  • Nobody’s home – When you’re not at home make sure the garden gate is closed, the windows are locked and if you’re away for more than a few nights use timers to switch lights on and off
  • Good neighbours – In our busy lives it can be difficult to get to know your neighbours, however maintaining a good relationship with those we live closest to can make our communities a safer and more sociable place to live
  Police force
authorities with the
highest rates of burglary
Per 1000 people 
1 Humberside 10.8
2 West Yorkshire 10.8
3 South Yorkshire 10.4
4 Greater Manchester 10.3
5 Cleveland 9.1
6 Metropolitan Police 8.8
7 Lancashire 8.4
8 Merseyside 8.1
9 Gloucestershire 8.1
10 West Midlands 8.1

ONS 2014/15


  Police force
authorities with the
lowest rates of burglary
Per 1000
people
1 Dyfed-Powys 2.5
2 Devon and Cornwall 3.9
3 Cumbria 3.9
4 Norfolk 3.9
5 Thames Valley 4.9
6 North Yorkshire 4.9
7 Sussex 5.1
8 Surrey 5.1
9 Wiltshire 5.2
10 Northumbria 5.3

ONS 2014/15


  Police force
authorities with the
lowest solved rates for burglary
% of
crimes
solved
1 Wiltshire 8.3
2 Sussex 8.5
3 Surrey 8.8
4 South Yorkshire 9
5 West Mercia 9.2
6 West Midlands 9.5
7 Humberside 9.9
8 Derbyshire 10
9 Warwickshire 10
10 Lincolnshire 10

Home Office 2013/14


  Police force
authorities with the
highest solved rates for burglary
% of crimes solved 
1 Dyfed-Powys 28.7
2 South Wales 21.7
3 Norfolk 21.6
4 Northumbria 18.1
5 Suffolk 16.1
6 Devon and Cornwall 15.9
7 Cleveland 15.8
8 Cumbria 15.5
9 Hertfordshire 15.0
10 Lancashire 14.9

Home Office 2013/14


  Police force
authorities with the
lowest proportion of
full time officers
Number per
1000 people
1 Lincolnshire 2.1
2 Staffordshire 2.8
3 Cambridgeshire 2.9
4 Wiltshire 3
5 Essex 3
6 Dorset 3
7 West Mercia 3
8 Warwickshire 3
9 Hampshire 3.1
10 Cleveland 3.1

ONS 2013/14


  Police force
authorities with the
highest proportion
of full time officers
Number per
1000 people
1 Metropolitan Police 5.5
2 Merseyside 4.6
3 Greater Manchester 4.3
4 Gwent 4
5 South Wales 4
6 West Midlands 4
7 Cumbria 3.8
8 Humberside 3.8
9 Dyfed-Powys 3.8
10 West Yorkshire 3.8

ONS 2013/14


Notes to editors

  1. All burglary solved rate data sourced from the Home Office via https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/crime-and-policing-comparator/
    Solved crimes include those in which offender has received a formal sanction of some kind, Formal sanctions (punishments) include things like being charged, fined, or cautioned, but do not include solved crimes where less formal routes have been used – such as restorative justice or a community resolution
  2. Crime Survey England and Wales, March 2015
  3. Figures relating to full time police officers from Police Objective Analysis: 2014/15 estimates via https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/crime-and-policing-comparator/
  4. Crime Statistics, Focus on Public Perceptions of Crime and the Police, and the Personal Well-being of Victims, 2013 to 2014 Release

Please note, the City of London has been removed from this analysis due to small sample sizes.

For further information:

Katie Pugh
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 2914
Email: katie.pugh@citigatedr.co.uk

Claire Foster
Churchill PR Manager
Tel: 0165 183 1672
Mob: 07525665504
Email: claire.foster@directlinegroup.co.uk

Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

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Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

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