Safe as houses: Kensington & Chelsea revealed as least burgled London borough

Kensington & Chelsea is an unhappy hunting ground for thieves as figures show the royal borough had the least burglaries in London in the past three months.

There were just 55 break-ins during August, September and October in the borough which is home to Harrods and Harvey Nichols, according to RAC Home Insurance research.

Other SW London boroughs also showed a knack for beating the burglars, with only 65 and 69 burglaries in Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames respectively.

On the other hand, Croydon had 171 break-ins during the same period.

The worst hit was Barnet in north London, with 243 recorded break-ins.

Conservative MP for Chelsea & Fulham, Greg Hands, said he himself benefitted from the close relationship between police and residents.

“I have lived locally for 24 years and have so far – touch wood – avoided being burgled!” said Mr Hands.

“The police in Kensington & Chelsea have a strong neighbourhood ethos and seek to keep residents informed when a local trend in burglaries presents itself.”

He advised residents to look after keys, check before opening the door to strangers and ask neighbours to keep an eye on the house when away on holiday.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Conservative MP for Kensington, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve come top of the list.

“I think it’s to the credit of the royal borough, who have given a lot of priority to increasing police manpower and making it more visible.”

In the past 10 years the borough has seen residential burglary drop by 43% according to Kensington & Chelsea Council, amounting to 758 fewer crimes per year.

The council has also committed £1.4m to an additional uniformed police presence on the street.

The number of officers on the beat will rise to one inspector, four sergeants and 36 PCs by March 2015.

A council spokesperson said: “This is excellent news and testament to the funding the council has invested in its joint work with the police to tackle burglary.”

Special tactics employed in the borough include ‘target hardening’, which involves building additional security features on properties which have been subject to repeat burglaries or are particularly vulnerable.

Picture courtesy of jo.sau, with thanks

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