The latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) (PDF) showed an 8% decrease in crime against households from the previous year, the lowest estimate since it began in 1981, with UK vehicle crime at a 20-year low according to the Home Office.
One of the reasons for this is that burglars are becoming more sophisticated, says Nationwide Product Manager Darren Black. "Burglars are increasingly selecting high-value, portable items and can make use of social media to identify homeowners who are on holiday. This means that while the overall crime rate has decreased, the insurance industry’s exposure to theft – or the value of the claims that they pay out for – may not have."
In some parts of the UK, reported crime has plummeted by double digits; in Northern Ireland bicycle theft fell by 25.7%, while domestic burglary fell by 13% in London and car theft by 11% in both the South East and South West of England.
Domestic burglary in the North East of England, for example, rose by 4% between 2014 and 2015 despite an overall decrease of 7% across the country. Within the region itself, an increase of over 25% was reported in Cleveland.
For those who live in Scotland, crimes recorded by the police decreased by 5% overall. Across the country the largest drop was in Moray (18%), but Stirling saw a 9% rise and East Ayrshire 4%.
Glasgow City, for example, has seen a higher-than-average decrease of more than 3,000 crimes (6%), but because of its size it continues to account for 19% of all recorded crime in Scotland.
Postcode searches such as those available on police.uk or UKCrimeStats can be useful in giving you a general picture of recorded crime in your area, but be aware that a low reported crime rate does not automatically guarantee a low premium.