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The Goods on Every Burglars Wishlist

5 tips to deter burglars 

With recent crime stats revealing that £30 MILLION worth of luxury watches were stolen in London alone last year, security experts at ADT have offered their advice on keeping valuables safe. 

There were 191,094 residential burglaries in England and Wales last year, up 1.8% from 2021. That’s equal to almost 524 burglaries every day.

With so many homes being targeted, our experts at ADT wanted to reveal the most vulnerable areas in the nation, as well as the most commonly stolen items during home break-ins. We’ve also included our top tips on how to protect your property from unwanted intruders.


Middlesbrough homeowners are 11 times more at risk of burglary than residents of the safest areas on our list, which include North Norfolk and Staffordshire Moorlands. In London, Southwark residents are more than twice as at risk compared to those living in Bexley. Criminals are more likely to steal your money, jewellery and watches than any other item in your home, favoured for their ease of concealment and lack of traceability.


You should be cautious of leaving the following items in easily accessible locations. You might want to consider securing these belongings in a home safe or other protected spot to avoid enticing criminals.

1. Purse/wallet/money/cards | Percentage of incidents where items were stolen: 40%

Intruders are most likely to steal money, including cash, cards, wallets, and purses from your home. These items were reported stolen in two in every five home break-ins in England and Wales.

A burglar’s motivation is usually to steal as much as possible while remaining untraceable. For this reason, many intruders look for cash stashed throughout your home which cannot be traced once they leave. Some even search where you would least expect, including under mattresses and in drawers.

2. Jewellery/watches | Percentage of incidents where items were stolen: 32%

After cash, jewellery and watches are among the most-targeted items by home intruders. Just like cash, these items are untraceable and easy to conceal, making them prime targets for criminals.

Almost one in every three home break-ins in England and Wales reported jewellery or watch theft.

3. Computer/computer equipment | Percentage of incidents where items were stolen: 23%

It’s no surprise that burglars are after your computer equipment, with many devices worth over £1,000. Laptops and tablets are especially easy for thieves to carry and conceal after entering your home.


Computers and computer equipment were reported stolen in almost a quarter of home burglaries.


1. Middlesbrough | 22 burglaries per 1,000 households

Middlesbrough is the area most vulnerable to burglary in England and Wales. The North Yorkshire town served by Cleveland Police reported 22 residential burglaries for every 1,000 households last year. Those living in Middlesbrough are 11 times more at risk of burglary than residents of the least targeted areas on our list. The northern town has the highest burglary rate of all local authorities.

2. Manchester | 20 burglaries per 1,000 households

Manchester is one of the most targeted areas of England and Wales for home invasions. The city experienced 20 burglaries for every 1,000 households last year. Despite Manchester’s reputation for being safer than other large cities like London, it has a higher residential burglary rate than all of the London boroughs.

3. Doncaster | 18 burglaries per 1,000 households

Doncaster is the third northern local authority in our top three, and one of the most at risk areas of England and Wales. Residents of the South Yorkshire city experienced 18 burglaries for every 1,000 households in 2022.


1. Breckland, Broadland, Isle of Anglesey, Isle of Wight, Lewes, Mid Sussex, North Norfolk, Staffordshire Moorlands, Wealden | 2 burglaries per 1,000 households

These areas in England and Wales, experience the lowest burglary rates out of all local authorities. There were just two incidents of home break-ins per 1,000 households in Breckland, Broadland, the Isle of Anglesey, the Isle of Wight, Lewes, Mid Sussex, North Norfolk, Staffordshire Moorlands, and Wealden during 2022.


1. Southwark | 14 burglaries per 1,000 households

The home of Borough Market, the Tate Modern, and Tower Bridge, Southwark is a desirable borough for commuters and those who like living close to the centre of London. Despite its popularity, Southwark is the most at risk London borough for residential burglaries. Last year, 14 out of every 1,000 homes were broken into.

2. Barnet | 13 burglaries per 1,000 households

Barnet comes in joint second place as one of London’s most vulnerable areas for burglary. Despite its reputation as a family-friendly suburb, there were 13 home burglaries for every 1,000 properties last year in Barnet.

2. Hackney | 13 burglaries per 1,000 households

Hackney is probably best known for its vibrant nightlife and cultural diversity, making it one of the most popular London boroughs for young people. Despite its popularity, Hackney remains one of London’s most targeted areas, with 13 home burglaries per 1,000 households last year.

2. Haringey | 13 burglaries per 1,000 households

Haringey is home to lush green spaces, making it a coveted suburb for families and those settling down. However, contrary to its positive reputation, Haringey is one of London’s most vulnerable areas to live for burglary. In the last year, there were 13 residential burglaries for every 1,000 homes.

2. Kensington and Chelsea | 13 burglaries per 1,000 households

The Kensington and Chelsea borough is characterised by its wealthy residents and stunning houses, offering some of the most expensive homes in the world. The desirable area is a target for criminals, with 13 burglaries per 1,000 homes in the last year.


1. Bexley | 6 burglaries per 1,000 households

Bexley attracts residents with its cheaper house prices than most central London areas and great transport links to the centre. Bexley is also the least targeted London borough, with just six home burglaries per 1,000 houses in the last year.

2. Bromley | 7 burglaries per 1,000 households

Bromley offers residents lush green spaces, lively bars and restaurants, and a 20-minute commute to London’s centre. Bromley is also one of London’s least vulnerable areas for home break-ins, with just 7 instances per 1,000 homes last year.

3. Havering | 8 burglaries per 1,000 households

London’s easternmost borough is home to a quiet, residential atmosphere and lots of green space. Havering comes in joint third place as one of London’s least at risk areas, experiencing eight burglaries for every 1,000 homes in 2022.

3. Richmond upon Thames | 8 burglaries per 1,000 households

Richmond upon Thames is characterised by its grandiose gardens, historic architecture, and picturesque riverside views. The sought-after borough is one of London’s least targeted, with eight residential burglaries per 1,000 households last year.

  • Install a home security system 

Smart home security systems can monitor your property 24/7, and can send alerts to your phone if you are out of the house. Systems offer police response, meaning that when an intruder alarm is triggered or a personal attack button is activated, the police will be contacted automatically. If the cameras are visible around your home, burglars are less likely to strike.


  • Conceal your valuables 

Criminals often target homes for small, valuable items that are left in plain sight. Cash, jewellery and watches are the most likely items to be taken if burglars enter your home. Not only are these items untraceable from the moment the criminal leaves your property, but they are also easy to conceal. While some home intruders check common hiding places like under mattresses and inside drawers, hiding your valuables in a concealed safe which is secured to the wall or floor is one of the best ways to keep them away from criminals.

  • Leave the lights on 

Turn lights on around your home while you’re out to give the appearance of occupancy. Using smart plugs can be one of the best ways to deter criminals. If movement is detected by your outdoor security cameras or video doorbell, your smart plugs can turn lamps on automatically to give burglars the impression that your property is occupied. You can also use smart plugs as traditional timer switches or stagger the time that they switch on/off.


  •  Keep your items safe

If you own high-value items like jewellery, watches and electrical equipment or have ID documents in easy reach, storing them in a home safe can keep them away from thieves. This should be kept in a room other than the bedroom since this is where most criminals search for valuable items and should be bolted to the floor or a wall. Keeping your valuables in a safe at home allows for easy access to your items while protecting them from intruders.


  •  Secure your garden

Using tall fencing around the sides and rear of your home can deter criminals. The difficulty of climbing high fences can put off potential intruders. You could also use anti-climb plastic fence spikes or grow thorny plants on a trellis to further deter burglars. It is equally effective to use lower fences at the front of your property, alongside outdoor lighting, so burglars have nowhere to hide.

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