Personal Finance

Which London Boroughs have the Largest Surge in Home Burglaries over the Christmas Season?

Some areas of the capital are more prone to an uptick in home burglaries around the holidays. Find out how the risk in your borough compares.

Every November, December and January, residential burglary rates soar compared to the rest of the year. In London the burglary rate rises 21% on average during the festive season. Not only do the long, dark nights provide cover for would-be burglars, but homes are overflowing with enticing piles of brand-new consumer goods, from electronics to toys to jewellery—at this time of year most UK households are ramping up for the holidays, filling their homes with precious gifts for their loved ones.

Burglary Rates Increase over the Holidays

The residential burglary rate in London is around 8.68 crimes per 10,000 residents each month—for most of the year. But around Christmas, this crime figure jumps up 21% to 10.34 crimes per 10,000 residents each month.

Chart showing the change in burglary rates across London boroughs throughout the year

London households are much more likely to be burgled over the holidays compared to the rest of the year. But some areas suffer a lot more. Which London boroughs have it the worst?

To assess this, we gathered data from the Metropolitan Police's Crime Data Dashboard for residential burglaries throughout London for the six years from April 2017 until October 2023 by borough. See the Methodology section below for a detailed description of how we generated our results.

Where Burglary Rates Increase the Most Over the Holidays

The boroughs of Redbridge, Bexley and Havering experience the largest percentage increase is residential burglaries in the months around Christmas (November through January), with crime rates popping up 55%, 54% and 43%, respectively, compared to average rates the rest of the year. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the residential burglary rate in Lambeth actually drops around Christmas and in Hackney the rate only goes up by 1% between November and January.

Here's how much burglary rates surge in November, December and January, by London borough

London Boroughs Ranked by Lowest to Highest Surge in Burglary Rates at Christmas

Rank (1 = Smallest Xmas Burglary Rate Rise, 32 = Largest)BoroughAvg Monthly Burglary Rate: Feb - Oct (Burglaries/10,000 Residents)Avg Monthly Burglary Rate: Nov - Jan (Burglaries/10,000 Residents)Xmas Rate Surge
3Hammersmith and Fulham10.5210.332%
6Tower Hamlets10.6710.125%
10Kensington and Chelsea14.1112.6312%
17Waltham Forest9.437.6124%
21Richmond upon Thames10.458.3925%
24Kingston upon Thames8.026.2429%
25Barking and Dagenham9.567.3929%
London Average10.348.6821%

Which London Boroughs Have the Highest and Lowest Burglary Rates around Christmas?

Instead of looking at where burglary rates rise dramatically around Christmas, we can also compare the actual, underlying burglary rates by borough. The results show that the boroughs of Newham, Kingston upon Thames, Sutton and Bexley have the lowest burglary rates in London over the November through January time period, with fewer than 8.5 homes burgled per 10,000 people a month.

It is interesting that while Bexley exhibits one of the lowest actual Christmas burglary rates at 8.47 burglaries a month/10,000 residents, it experiences the largest percentage increase, or surge, in burglaries at Christmas with a 55% rise. This is because Bexley normally has lowest rate the rest of the year with a rate of just 5.47 burglaries a month/10,000 residents during the other 9 months of the year.

Residents of Kensington & Chelsea and Haringey suffer the worst winter burglary rates, with more than 13 burglaries a month per 10,000 residents.

See the table below to find where your borough ranks.

London Boroughs Ranked by Best to Worst Christmas Burglary Rates

Rank (1 = Lowest Xmas burglary Rate, 32 = Highest)BoroughNov - Jan Burglary Rate (Average Monthly Burglaries per 10,000 Residents)
2Kingston upon Thames8.02
7Waltham Forest9.43
10Barking and Dagenham9.56
19Richmond upon Thames10.45
20Hammersmith and Fulham10.52
21Tower Hamlets10.67
32Kensington and Chelsea14.11
London Average**10.34 **

Preventing Loss

As we enter the Christmas period, now may be the time for the millions of Brits with no contents insurance to buy a policy, which would cover the cost of theft from the home. The cost of contents insurance for London renters from some big-name companies starts from around £70 a year.

The average amount stolen in a successful burglary where the offender gains entry is £2,856, making contents insurance well worth the cost if you're a burglary victim—and peace of mind if you're not.

However you may pay more that this depending on factors like where you live and the value of your belongings—according to the Association of British Insurer's, the average annual premium paid for contents insurance was around £116 a year or just over £2 a week in 2022, although rates have risen since then. And given the damage caused by burglars to homes, landlords should be sure they have landlord insurance in place as well.

In addition to securing contents insurance, you can also follow these quick tips to Keep Your Home Safe from Burglars Over the Holidays. If you're in the market for home insurance, you may want to take a look at our article on cheap home insurance or you can find more information on home insurance costs here.


We analysed the most recent six+ years of data (April 2017 to October 2023) from the Metropolitan Police's Crime Data Dashboard, on residential burglaries for all London boroughs.

To illustrate how the rate of home burglaries increases around the holidays, we first calculated average monthly burglary rates for each borough, taking into account data over the 2017 to 2023 time period. Since we noticed a surge in burglaries in November, December and January, we then found the average burglary rate over this sensitive 3-month period, calculating how much higher (in % terms) the average "Christmas" rate is to the average rate for months February through October. This percentage showed up the surge in burglaries around the holidays compared to the rest of the year.

Finally, we ranked the boroughs according to their burglary rate per 10,000 people over the November to January time period, to see which boroughs have the lowest and highest likelihood of home burglaries.

Cheap Home Insurance in Your Area

Find the best home insurance deals for you.

{"applyCallToAction":"Get Quotes","defaultSelectedItem":"home","description":"Find the best home insurance deals for you.","formType":"Insurance","onCurrent":true,"options":[{"label":"Car Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/car-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"car"},{"label":"Home Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/home-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"home"},{"label":"Motorbike Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/bike-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"motorbike"},{"label":"Pet Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/pet-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"pet"},{"label":"Travel Insurance","url":"https:\/\/\/travel-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa","value":"travel"}],"title":"Cheap Home Insurance in Your Area"}
Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.


NimbleFins Newsletter

Get energy alerts, deals, tips, news, and more!