What Are The UK’s Most and Least Burgled Towns?


If you’re thinking of moving to or starting a business in a new town, one of the first things you check is crime rate and particularly burglaries.

Research highlighted by security experts Locks Direct has revealed that, according to the latest data available, in the whole of the UK, Middlesbrough is the most dangerous town for break-ins.

It’s also clear that Plymouth is the safest when considering low burglary rates.

Director at Locks Direct Tom Richardson, said: “It is always a concern to see burglaries happening anywhere, but Middlesbrough seems to have a particular problem”.

The top ten most dangerous towns are:

  1. Middlesbrough (10.03)
  2. Hackney (8.72)
  3. Westminster (8.56)
  4. Haringey (8.30)
  5. Birmingham (7.84)
  6. Hammersmith & Fulham (7.41)
  7. Islington (7.38)
  8. Southwark (7.34)
  9. Leeds(7.30)
  10. Tower Hamlets (7.27)

(Data from https://crimerate.co.uk/)

When comparing their crime rate of around 10 crimes per 1,000 residents to Plymouth, the most safe city for burglaries at around 2 crimes per 1,000 residents, the difference is particularly pronounced.

The problem is’nt isolated to the north of the country either. Areas of London feature quite prominently and there’s a real focus around the central and southwestern areas of the city.

Big commercial cities like Birmingham and Leeds also feature, which suggests this is primarily a city problem.

Middlesbrough’s position, while unfortunate, could be a variety of factors, but more needs to be done by individuals and businesses to prevent burglaries happening in the first place. A lot of what we see as security experts can be headed off if preventative measures can be taken.

Overall, burglaries were actually down year on year for 2021. Last year, England & Wales’s police forces received 235,280 crime reports about burglary. This was a decrease of 14% from 2020’s figure of 274,899 reports of burglary.

This means there was an overall crime rate of just 3.9 per 1,000 people in 2021 and a rate of 4.6 per 1,000 people for 2020.

Split regionally, the most burgled area was actually South Yorkshire, which takes in areas like Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster.

Regionally, the most burgled places were:

  1. South Yorkshire (6.63)
  2. West Midlands (6.41)
  3. Bristol (6.11)
  4. London (5.85)
  5. West Yorkshire (5.09)
  6. Merseyside (4.83)
  7. East Riding of Yorkshire (4.75)
  8. South Glamorgan (4.47)
  9. Durham (4.47)
  10. Lancashire (4.28)

(Data from https://crimerate.co.uk/)

For those of you who would like to compare these figures to those of the safest towns, Plymouth currently holds the lead with a crime rate of just 2.07. See our full breakdown of the top 10 safest towns below.

The safest towns are:

  1. Plymouth (2.07)
  2. Swindon (2.32)
  3. Milton Keynes (2.34)
  4. Bexley (3.0)
  5. Brighton & Hove (3.17)
  6. Norwich (3.18)
  7. Swansea (3.22)
  8. Reading (3.37)
  9. Luton (4.02)
  10. Havering (4.03)

(Data from https://crimerate.co.uk/)

Tom added: “To better protect your home or business, physical locks are paramount and ensuring that you have the right quality of security in place is really important.

To find out more about security or improving your home or business in terms of safety, visit the Locks Direct website here: https://www.locksdirect.co.uk/

Security tips

If you’re concerned about your security, then there are ways you can prepare your home or business against burglaries. These are tried and tested tips, so make sure you follow them closely. These tips can apply to your home or business.

  • Make sure your windows are secure, a leading cause of burglary is an open window or door, so if you do leave these open, make sure this only happens when you are present.
  • Are windows and doors kept locked? Are the locks visible? A deterrent is often a great way to shut down potential threats.
  • Have you got secure windows and frames? Older, non-PVC frames can easily be damaged or opened with thieves’ tools.
  • Consider double or triple glazing, not only does it save money, it means you can’t have them broken as easily.
  • Use blinds and curtains to shield your valuables or belongings. A clear view of a whole room, especially when lit at night can almost act as a shop front for those wishing to break in.
  • It might seem obvious, but if you’ve moved into a new home or business premises, getting the locks changed is essential. Not only does it prevent previous owners from gaining access, it also means new locks are more secure and less worn.
  • Extra locks and security measures on doors are a great idea, especially if you live in an area where burglary is rife.
  • Make sure that your home or business has door frames and doors that are solid and reliable. Your external doors should be at least 4.4cm thick and affixed with 10cm hinges.
  • Installing a chain or a latch can make a huge difference, especially for opportunist thieves.


  • A deadlock can make a huge difference, especially to secure a front or back door at home. It can really deter thieves and can stop a thief who is trying to break or really meddle with a lock.
  • Consider investing in movement-based light systems. A floodlit exterior will mean anyone approaching will be lit up and their activities will be clearly visible for anyone to see as well as better visibility on any CCTV or security cameras you have installed.
  • Noise is a great deterrent, so make sure any gates make distinctive alerts as they open. Having a gravel or stone-covered driveway is also a great idea as not only will vehicles leave a track, they will also create a sound too. The same goes for footsteps on such surfaces.
  • Warnings are key as part of your deterrent strategy. Make cameras very obvious and if you are a business, signage can really help spell out that you are fortified and prepared.
  • Invest in an alarm, or at least a dummy system. These are the ultimate deterrent and thieves will think twice before attempting a break-in. A home system will provide peace of mind and comfort, a business system will protect your premises, stock and equipment.
  • Security gates are a must for businesses, especially when access is an issue, however, at home, a gated driveway can be a real challenge for thieves. If they can’t gain access to the immediate area then they will be more likely to give up.
  • It may seem extreme, but installing CCTV or security cameras can work wonders. In the case that you do get broken into, it means police have something to work with and you are also protecting your immediate community. For homeowners, using something as simple as a doorbell cam can also put intruders off, especially as the imaging is now so clear.
  • Leaving valuables in the office or at home for extended periods? Investing in a safe is one of the best ways to keep them secure. Concealed or disguised versions can really outfox thieves and can also reduce your content insurance overall.