A price comparison website has decided that certain areas of London are the most likely to have residents claiming on their home insurance for theft. Blackheath comes top, followed by Hammersmith, Finsbury Park, Chiswick, Battersea, Archway, Southwark, Forest Hill, Beckenham, Enfield and Brixton. These are, by implication, among the top 20 most burglarable places in the country - so Moneysupermarket.com calculates.
Or should that be 'calculates'?
What Moneysupermarket.com has done is take 1.1 million quotes issued via its website and, presumably, analysed the answers to the one question about previous claims in the last five years.
This isn't the most scientific method in the world. For a start, it's a self-selecting group of people and we can probably assume that anyone with previous experience of burglary will be more likely to seek home insurance in future. The website doesn't ask where these previous claims for theft happened, so it's possible that not all happened in same postcode. Also, places that register highly in the survey are a bit, well, suburban: a higher percentage of owner-occupiers perhaps? Who are more likely to have to cover broken doors and windows as well as a nicked DVD player? People with a little more disposable income who don't have to choose between, say, a monthly direct debit for insurance and the electricity? More middle class people who wouldn't dream of not having home insurance instead of poorer or young people living in Hackney or Camden who have other things to do with their time?
We wouldn't go so far as to say this survey is spurious bullshit. We'd just recommend that you keep an open mind as to the possibility that the conclusions encouraged by this survey might be spurious bullshit. And get your crime stats from the actual police.