Social Media & Burglary Statistics – 2017 vs 2018

Is your city or region becoming riskier or safer when it comes to posting on social media? Are you unwittingly leaving yourself vulnerable to crime by sharing too much? Find out how your area compares to the rest of the UK…

Last year, we carried out a study in collaboration with security experts Yale, which revealed a clear link between social posting and crime statistics.

By oversharing on social, we could be putting ourselves at risk of burglary or fraud. But what do we mean by ‘oversharing’? Well, it could be something as simple and seemingly innocuous as a tweet about your upcoming holiday. It could be a close-up of the keys to your new home, or a snap of your new car on Instagram.

Whatever the scenario is, we know how easy it is to get caught up in the excitement of going away, or a big new purchase. It’s natural to want to share these happy moments with your family and friends, but what if your posts are also being seen by opportunistic thieves?

We want to help you feel confident when using social media, and remove any nagging doubts you may have. Why not read our guide to staying safe on social, check out our shocking social media crime facts, and take a look at Yale’s safety guide?

In the meantime, let’s see how our cities’ social media habits are faring compared to last year. We’ve refreshed the data in our study to show if the number of social posts about holidays, new cars, new homes and being out of the home in general have increased or decreased, against the UK as a whole:

Packing suitcase

Holiday

Our research last year showed that the people living in the North West just couldn’t help showing off about their hols – a fact that remains the same this year:

  • An increase of 12% in social posts about holidays year-on-year means that people in the North West are now 94% more likely to partake in posting about their travels. The North East isn’t too far behind, at 86%
  • Manchester is by far the riskiest city in the UK, with Mancunians 155% more likely to ‘check in’ at the airport, or share a snap of their cocktail on the beach. This is a slight improvement on last year’s figure of 171%, but there’s clearly still some way to go! 
  • Scotland has seen the most significant change of 74% since last year: Scots are now 64% more likely to post about their holidays than the rest of the country, compared to being 9% less likely last year
  • It’s not all doom and gloom in the north: Holiday posts in Blackpool have decreased by a third
  • Down south, Portsmouth’s population needs to brush up on its social safety know-how, having shared 94% more posts about holidays since last year

Holiday data: 2017 vs 2018

Top five cities increasing posts (becoming riskier)

  2018 2017 Change
Portsmouth 190% 96% 94%
Glasgow 96% 18% 79%
Norwich 149% 74% 75%
Newcastle upon Tyne 182% 112% 70%
Cambridge 49% -18% 67%

Top five cities decreasing posts (becoming safer)

  2018 2017 Change
Manchester 155% 171% -15%
Belfast -4% 15% -19%
Liverpool 74% 99% -24%
Swansea -73% -46% -27%
Blackpool 48% 81% -33%

 

Regional increase/decrease

  2018 2017 Change
Scotland 64.2% -9.4% 73.6%
South East 74.7% 18.3% 56.4%
North East 85.7% 29.8% 55.9%
South West 26.8% -9.0% 35.8%
East of England 24.6% -9.3% 33.9%
Yorkshire and the Humber 2.1% -16.7% 18.8%
Greater London -40.3% -56.9% 16.6%
West Midlands -15.7% -30.2% 14.5%
North West 93.7% 82.1% 11.6%
East Midlands 29.8% 19.1% 10.7%
Northern Ireland -50.9% -56.6% 5.7%
Wales -18.9% -12.2% -6.6%
New car

New car

Our previous data showed that those in the South East were 103% more likely to talk about their new cars on social, which hasn’t changed this year:

  • People in the South East are now 231% more likely to wax lyrical about their new wheels – a whopping 128% increase!
  • Meanwhile, Londoners continue to become wiser about protecting their cars from crime, with the number of social posts decreasing by 9%
  • Conversely, car talk in Dover is rife: Posts in the Kent town have increased by 300% – a disappointing turnaround from last year, when residents were 6% less likely to reveal all about their vehicles   
  • Luton and Portsmouth have also seen huge rises, while Southend-on-Sea is setting an example by becoming 41% less likely to overshare about new cars 

New car data: 2017 vs 2018

Top five cities increasing posts (becoming riskier)

  2018 2017 Change
Dover 294% -6% 300%
Luton 310% 44% 266%
Portsmouth 501% 280% 221%
Stoke-On-Trent 161% -9% 170%
Cardiff 107% -5% 112%

Top five cities decreasing posts (becoming safer)

  2018 2017 Change
London -67% -58% -9%
Ipswich 74% 86% -11%
Lisburn -69% -54% -15%
Exeter 46% 70% -24%
Southend-on-Sea 3% 43% -41%

 

Regional increase/decrease

  2018 2017 Change
South East 230.9% 103.2% 127.7%
Yorkshire and the Humber 23.5% -46.0% 69.6%
Wales 43.1% -25.0% 68.1%
North West 69.6% 2.9% 66.7%
North East 56.5% -8.8% 65.3%
Scotland 12.0% -51.4% 63.4%
East of England 93.9% 34.1% 59.8%
East Midlands 58.0% 2.4% 55.6%
Northern Ireland -13.1% -58.5% 45.4%
West Midlands 11.0% -24.7% 35.7%
South West 28.0% 22.0% 5.9%
Greater London -68.1% -58.1% -10.0%
New home

New home

Last year’s study identified the South East as a hotspot for posting about new homes, which remains the case this year:

  • Continuing to put themselves at risk of burglary, folks in the South East are now 144% more likely than the rest of the UK to inform their followers about their new home
  • Norwich has seen the biggest change in behaviour, with 155% more social posts about new homes
  • Portsmouth poses the biggest risk overall, with people there 231% more likely to post
  • In contrast, Londoners seem to have woken up to the possible consequences, with those in the capital 61% less likely than last year to share new home updates
  • At the other end of the country, the North East has seen the largest increase of 99% in posts about their new abode

New home data: 2017 vs 2018

Top five cities increasing posts (becoming riskier)

  2018 2017 Change
Norwich 202% 47% 155%
Newcastle upon Tyne 173% 53% 120%
Portsmouth 231% 130% 102%
Exeter 111% 24% 87%
Manchester 152% 76% 76%

Top five cities decreasing posts (becoming safer)

  2018 2017 Change
Peterborough -62% -61% -1%
Edinburgh 53% 54% -1%
Dundee -44% -39% -4%
Dover 57% 72% -15%
London 44% 17% -61%

 

Regional increase/decrease

  2018 2017 Change
North East 77.5% -21.3% 98.8%
North West 85.3% 14.4% 70.9%
South West 79.6% 15.6% 64.0%
East of England 73.2% 18.5% 54.7%
South East 144.2% 96.1% 48.1%
Northern Ireland -21.1% -66.5% 45.4%
Yorkshire and the Humber -3.8% -37.2% 33.5%
East Midlands 18.8% -12.2% 31.0%
Scotland 2.6% -26.8% 29.3%
Wales 12.0% -12.5% 24.5%
West Midlands -28.9% -44.3% 15.4%
Greater London -44.9% 17.0% -61.9%
Out of home

Out of home

It’s a battle of north vs south when it comes to sharing information about our social lives:

  • The top five places displaying riskier behaviour are in the north
  • The North West retains the title of the riskiest region for posting about being away from the home, with people 156% more likely to overshare – this is a huge increase of 86% on last year’s already-high figure of 70%
  • Carlisle leads the way with the greatest increase of 104%: People in the Cumbrian town are 73% more likely to tell people they’ve gone on a night out, or to an event
  • At the opposite end of the scale is Greater London, with people 54% less likely than the rest of the UK to post about their empty homes – this is a slight improvement of 4% 

Out of home data: 2017 vs 2018

Top five cities increasing posts (becoming riskier)

  2018 2017 Change
Carlisle 73% -31% 104%
Newcastle upon Tyne 257% 158% 98%
Edinburgh 111% 17% 94%
Middlesbrough 115% 29% 86%
Dundee 56% -22% 78%

Top five cities decreasing posts (becoming safer)

  2018 2017 Change
Cambridge 7% 13% -9%
Peterborough -57% -46% -11%
Bournemouth -21% -7% -13%
Leicester 30% -5% -25%
Brighton -7% 29% -36%

 

Regional increase/decrease

  2018 2017 Change
North East 143.0% 45.3% 97.7%
Scotland 65.2% -24.3% 89.6%
North West 156.0% 69.8% 86.2%
Wales 66.3% -7.4% 73.6%
Yorkshire and the Humber 20.9% -20.7% 41.6%
Northern Ireland -41.7% -70.2% 28.5%
West Midlands -20.9% -37.6% 16.7%
East of England 14.2% -1.6% 15.8%
South East 43.0% 32.4% 10.6%
South West 8.2% -2.3% 10.5%
Greater London -54.1% -50.4% -3.7%
East Midlands 7.2% 17.2% -10.0%
Woman locking up

Overall

  • Across the country, over 59% of the posts analysed mentioned holidays, or being away from home, making these the highest categories for oversharing in the UK
  • Overall, the South East is the UK’s riskiest region across all categories, with people living there 98% more likely to reveal all on social – a slight increase of 2%
  • This is closely followed by the North West at 96%, following a disappointingly high increase of 81%
  • Compared with data from last year, people in the North East have increased their risky social media posting the most, by 108%
  • Inhabitants of Greater London are the only people to have reduced their risk, posting 61% fewer posts about being away from the home or new purchases

Overall data: 2017 vs 2018

Top five cities increasing posts (becoming riskier)

  2018 2017 Change
Lisburn 182% -80% 262%
Glasgow 210% -12% 222%
Stoke-on-Trent 124% -35% 159%
Omagh 56% -93% 149%
Carlisle 79% -48% 127%

Top five cities decreasing posts (becoming safer)

  2018 2017 Change
Bournemouth -73% -17% -90%
Southend-on-Sea -95% -4% -91%
Liverpool -38% 62% -99%
Portsmouth 49% 154% -105%
Luton -76% 31% -107%

 

Regional increase/decrease

  TY LY Change
North East 87.0% -21.3% 108.3%
North West 95.7% 14.4% 81.3%
Scotland 44.9% -26.8% 71.7%
Yorkshire and the Humber 3.1% -37.2% 40.4%
East Midlands 26.1% -12.2% 38.4%
Northern Ireland -40.1% -66.5% 26.3%
West Midlands -18.5% -44.3% 25.8%
South West 39.8% 15.6% 24.2%
East of England 40.3% 18.5% 21.8%
Wales -0.1% -12.5% 12.3%
South East 98.4% 96.1% 2.3%
Greater London -44.0% 17.0% -61.0%
 

*Research into social post data carried out by Crimson Hexagon between June 2017 and May 2018