Belfast Telegraph

EastEnders is soapland’s most dangerous location

Research shows that it would be a security risk to move to Walford.

Albert Square’s residents are in more danger than anyone else in soapland, according to security experts.

EastEnders came out top of a list of fictional settings where characters are most likely to be victims of crime in the last 10 years. The list was compiled by security system company ADT.

The unlucky people living in Walford had 10 times as many break-ins and fires than those in the least dangerous place – Ambridge, where BBC Radio 4 drama The Archers is set.

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EastEnders is a tough place to live and work (Andrew Stuart/PA)

Researchers also compared the number of fictional fires and break-ins with the likelihood of them happening in the real-life area of the country where each soap was set and found that the BBC One programme’s location was disproportionately dangerous, with 9.5 people per 100 suffering incidents compared with London’s true figure of 3.4 per 100.

EastEnders should avoid The Queen Vic in particular as the pub is the most dangerous building in soap, having suffered nine break-ins and two fires in the last 10 years, with the damage caused estimated at £128,000.

A recent storyline saw the pub’s roof collapse and it was also the scene of soap villain Archie Mitchell’s death, when he was hit over the head with the bar’s bust of Queen Victoria.

Hollyoaks came in second place for residents needing to keep their wits about them, with 5.1 crimes per 100 people, more than Chester’s true number of 3.2 per 100.

The village may be small but has seen more than its fair share of murders, serial killers, kidnaps and arson attacks.

Emmerdale has got its crime ratio spot on for its location of Esholt in West Yorkshire, working out at 4.5 incidents per 100 people for both real-life and fiction.

Soaps may seem unrealistically dramatic, but all of the other major series actually include fewer crimes than people living in the real-life areas that they are set would expect.

River City only featured 3.6 victims of crime in every 100 people compared to Glasgow’s figure of 5.7.

Coronation Street has run high-profile storylines including murders and sexual abuse, but the crimes only amounted to 2.8 in every 100 people against Salford in Greater Manchester’s true figure of 4.2.

Welsh soap Pobol y Cwm has included 2.4 incidents per 100 residents, lagging behind Llanelli’s crime stats of 3.6.

Sleepy Ambridge is the safest place to be, where The Archers saw 0.9 victims of crime per 100 although residents of real-life location Inkberrow in the West Midlands live a more dangerous existence with 1.8 incidents per 100 people.

ADT advised that many of the fictional crimes in soapland could have been avoided if characters locked their doors, checked their smoke alarms and fitted CCTV to their business premises.

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