Revealed: The Worst London Boroughs for Unsolved Burglaries


Official figures reveal that in 2016 almost half of all investigations into London burglaries close before an arrest can be made, with a further 49% remaining ‘under investigation’. This staggering number of unsolved burglaries comes after Cressida Dick, London’s Met Police Commissioner, stated that the police will not “go in for meaningless activity” when it came to burglaries with “no investigative opportunities”. 

Why Solving Burglaries is a Hard Task for Police Officers

unsolved burglaries burglar picking a lock on a house

Photo credit: r.classen/Shutterstock

Burglary is an inherently difficult crime to solve, as without fingerprint evidence, the police have almost nothing to go on to be able to pursue the perpetrator. Burglars primarily operate during times of the day when there are fewer people about to witness them, which leads to police being unable to catch them in the act. Add to this the rise in knife-crime in the capital and you see why police officers have lowered the priority of non-life-threatening incidents.

In the City of London alone, only 5% of burglaries last year went to court. This is a result of officers ‘giving up’ and closing the investigation without a suspect. Other cases remain ‘under investigation’ with little hope of solving them.

The Worst Culprits for Unsolved Burglaries:

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The above infographic reveals the worst boroughs for unsolved burglary cases. The results revealed that there were six boroughs where over half of burglaries had been closed without identifying a suspect last year. Hammersmith and Fulham was the worst culprit, with 6 in 10 burglaries being marked as unsolved, and then closed.

Following research conducted by LocksmithService, it was discovered that Barnet had the highest rate of burglaries of all London boroughs last year with 3,380 reported cases. Kingston upon Thames had the fewest at 884. (Although they had one of the highest rates for unsolved burglaries).

London has been dubbed the ‘burglary capital’ of the United Kingdom, with 14 of the capital’s postal zones coming in the top 20 for burglary claims over the past few years.

On average, almost half of all reported burglaries in London are closed without ever identifying a suspect, and a further 49% of burglaries in 2016 remain ‘under investigation’. This leaves more than 9 in 10 burglary victims without justice.

A separate survey has determined burglary to be a priority among Londoners. 72% state it is ‘very important’ that police officers tackle these sorts of crime. This comes after Chief Constable Sara Thornton warned in 2015 that if “you’ve had a burglary […] and the burglar has fled, we won’t get there as quickly as we have in the past.”

Protect your home and your possessions

female hands protecting home

Photo credit: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

It appears that responsibility lays at the feet of the homeowner to prevent burglaries from happening. has released the following official tips to ward off burglars in your area:


  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house. (Even when you’re just out in the garden.)
  • Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox. (Remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
  • Install a visual burglar alarm
  • Install good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise
  • Join or form a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
  • Store any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe or bank vault

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