Chiswick Amongst Country’s Top 10 Theft Hotspots

Research shows 7.74% of all W4 households were affected by theft or burglary last year


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Research carried out by has identified Chiswick amongst top 20 hotspots for home theft insurance claims.

Ranked at number eight just behind Hammersmith, W4’s placing in the table could be down to the large number of claims made against bike thefts with 7.74% of households affected by theft or burglary. analysed over 1.1 million home insurance enquiries made on the site during 2009. Its research revealed that half of the top 20 postcodes that are most likely to make a claim for theft are in London - an increase of 100 per cent on 2008.

Homeowners are being urged to be more vigilant when it comes to security, after the Association of British Insurers revealed 80,000 domestic burglary claims totalling £84 million were made last summer alone.

Advice from Hounslow Police states that burglary, on the whole, is an opportunist crime and a burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in his way. A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured.

Here are some signs that burglars look out for:

  • Side gates open
  • Accessible windows open
  • Ladders left out, allowing access to otherwise inaccessible windows
  • Untrimmed hedges or high fences preventing natural surveillance

When leaving the property unoccupied, even for just a short time, householders should always lock all windows and doors. If fitted, alarms should be switched on. Whenever possible make it look as though your house is occupied, and don't leave any valuables on display. It's also worth remembering:

  • Never leave a spare key concealed anywhere near the front door - burglars know all the hiding places
  • Prevent letterbox burglaries by storing keys away from the front door
  • Do not label your house keys in case you lose them and they fall into the wrong hands.

If leaving the property for longer periods consider:

  • Installing timers which switch lights or radios on and off automatically.
  • Having a neighbour or friend pop round to clear your letter box or doorstep.
  • Encouraging a neighbour to park on your drive.
  • If going out after dark, draw the curtains, leave some lights on and a radio playing.

Assistant Commissioner Ian McPherson, head of Metropolitan Police Service Territorial Policing said, "Having your home burgled can be a very upsetting experience, and therefore we are determined to stop it from happening in the first place by increasing peoples' security and by targeting offenders. In the summer people understandably are more inclined to leave their windows or doors open and then forget to close them when they go out. This offers a great opportunity to would-be thieves.

"We urge residents to take a few simple, but very effective measures to minimise the chance of being burgled. When leaving your home - make sure it's as secure as it can be. If your home is locked up and secure burglars will find it much harder to get in."


August 13, 2010

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