A Birmingham councillor says his constituents are being forced to pay huge insurance bills after the area was branded a burglary hotspot.
Councillor Rob Pocock launched his own investigation after it was revealed that the Sutton Coldfield suburb he represents was named by insurers as one of the country’s worst burglary hotspots.
The Labour councillor for the Vesey ward said he had been deluged with correspondence from angry homeowners and claims to have found a 500 per cent discrepancy between the insurance industry figures and official crime figures.
Residents living in the B73 postcode, covering a large chunk of Sutton Coldfield, were rated the ninth most likely to fall prey to house raiders in the country.
The area, covering Boldmere, Wylde Green and New Oscott, recorded 29.5 insurance claims per 1,000 people – according to insurers.
The figures came from 3.1 million home insurance quotes submitted from across the UK to the website MoneySupermarket.com over the course of a year.
But Councillor Pocock said: “From the figures I have found there is something clearly very wrong here.
"I don’t know what is happening but I am trying to find out and I want it to be put right.
“My calculations show that the insurance figures are 500 per cent higher than the official crime figures, which would obviously push up premiums for householders.
“The police have told me that in the last four months there have been 30 recorded burglaries and a further 31 relating to other break ins at sheds and other such crimes. Those figures relate to a much bigger area than the B73 postcode and stretches into parts of B72 and B74.
“Over the whole year the figures are around 100 for that entire area.
“I have written to the Crime Commissioner to ask for the specific information for B73 and it is likely to be much lower.
“I have also written to the insurers to ask for more information. I believe a 500 per cent gap has to be explained.”
Speaking about the study MoneySupermarket spokesman Kevin Pratt said: “Just because somewhere is a claim hotspot, it doesn’t mean it is not a nice place to live.
“Thieves often target areas with wealthy residents and desirable properties, where the rewards are potentially greater, or quieter areas where they think there is less risk of being caught red-handed.”