What makes Edinburgh so attractive to burglars?
The capital is ranked Scotland’s number one for housebreaking for a third consecutive year in the latest study of home insurance claims.
With its medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town, Edinburgh is one of the most picturesque capital cities in the world.
But move a few kilometers away from the tourists on the Royal Mile and there is a worrying trend which is impacting on the residents of the city known as Auld Reekie.
For the third year running, an Edinburgh postcode has been ranked number one for insurance claims in Scotland.
So what makes the capital such a honeypot for burglars? And what steps can locals do to stop crooks from running off with their treasured possessions?
Welcome to the Scottish capital of burglaries
Standing on the edge of the Forth of Forth, cranes rise up above a former industrial harbour famed for minesweepers, a visible sign of a multi-million pound regeneration in action.
This is the Edinburgh suburb of Granton.
According to a survey from MoneySuperMarket (EH5) the collection of interwar homes is the Scottish capital for burglaries.
The firm analysed data taken from over two million home contents claims to identify the postcodes where the highest and lowest number of claims had taken place. Granton came out number one north of the border and 13th in the UK as a whole, with a rate of 42.11 claims per 1,000.
So what makes EH5 such a popular area for crooks to break into and take people’s prized possessions?
On paper, the area does not seem too much different to other city suburbs.
Like most of the rest of Edinburgh, research compiled by Streetcheck shows that many of the houses are flats. The general demographic is white with the most popular jobs are in retail or financial services.
But on the ground, things are changing in this corner of the Scottish capital – with the last decade or so seeing huge investment in the waterfront area.
This is making Granton one of the more desirable places for people to live – and it seems where homebuyers go, burglars follow.
Sticking to the suburbs
It’s not just Granton which is attractive to burglars; a number of of other ‘posh suburbs’ of Edinburgh regularly get labelled burglary hotspots.
In previous years, similar research from MoneySuperMarket has shown other areas of the capital rank high in insurance claims.
Dean Village and Comely Bank, Portobello and Duddingston, Marchmont, Bruntsfield and Morningside have also appeared in the rankings, meaning that Edinburgh has more postcodes in the top ten than the more-densely populated Glasgow.
Meanwhile other cities such as Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness do not get mentioned in the list.
What impact can burglary have?
Burglary is one of the most common types of crime. But the regularity of such events does not mean there is no cost.
According to the Post Office, a single burglary will cost the average household £2,833, which includes £2,267 lost in stolen valuables
But the impact of burglary isn’t just financial; it can also have a significant impact on your emotional well-being and sense of security.
Research from Allianz Insurance discovered that it takes around eight months for those who have been burgled to feel safe at home again. Further findings show that a third of victims suffered a huge knock to their confidence, while a fifth claimed they found it difficult to be left on their own after the break-in.
All of this makes taking steps to protect you and your home vital.
The simple steps
Homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with even simple security measures, police research claims.
Given the high numbers of burglaries that take place in Edinburgh each year, Police Scotland are keen to share a number of ‘good housekeeping’ routines which make things more difficult for burglars.
The aim is to deter opportunists who police say are responsible for the majority of thefts.
- Keep your home securely locked at all times.
- Don’t leave keys on the inside of door locks, under mats or anywhere else an intruder may easily find them.
- Avoid putting your name or room number on your keyring if you live in shared accommodation.
- Avoid keeping large amounts of cash in the house. If you must then disperse it in various locations.
- Record details of your valuables, such as mobile phone, cameras, laptops and tablets on the national mobile property register at www.immobilise.com.
Taking security to the next level
While these steps may help you in the fight against burglaries, they are not foolproof ways to deter thieves.
The only way to be certain is by installing a modern wireless alarm system, such as Verisure’s guard system.
Using the very best of modern technology, this equipment will mean that your home can be permanently monitored from a dedicated control centre.
If an alarm is triggered then a team of experts are on hand to look after your property, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Photo detectors take images and send them via the mobile data network to Verisure’s Alarm Receiving Centre. The team will then listen and look into what is happening in the house and determine if your home is at risk, all within an average of just 45 seconds.
The team of trained professionals can filter out any false alarms and send an emergency guard response if they are sure there has been an intrusion.
The system can even be monitored from a smartphone or tablet so you can see in real time what your alarm system is showing you.
It’s the only way to be 100 per cent that your home will stay safe from burglars.