Conspiracy of silence: House price fears making Brits keep quiet about crime
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Legal
Conspiracy of silence: House price fears making Brits keep quiet about crimeImage: Crime via Shutterstock
The country’s criminals must be delighted. One in ten Brits would consider not reporting a crime - in case it lowered the value of their home.
Research by insurers Direct Line found that concerns about our neighbourhoods appearing riddled with rampant delinquency on online crime maps have led to 10% of us choosing not to inform the police about criminal activity.
And the evidence seems to back up such concerns. Over a third (36%) of those thinking of buying in a high crime area saying they would insist on paying less for a home.
The research found that 21 million (43%) British adults would refuse to live in a high crime neighbourhood - which could rule out traditionally highly desirable areas such as Hampstead, where 1,171 crimes were reported last year.
In February this year, 92 crimes were recorded on police crime maps in the vicinity of Sloane Square, which could rule out this location for Britons looking for a prime residence.
Half of UK adults would check crime statistics in a neighbourhood they were looking to move to before committing to buying or renting, the research found.
Over two million Brits say they have been a victim of crime or witnessed a criminal offence in the last 12 months, but have not reported it to the police for fear of impacting the desirability or value of their property.
And almost one in ten (8%) of us would actively discourage a neighbour from reporting a crime for fear it would show up on a police crime map.
Out of the respondents who admitted not reporting a crime, two thirds (65%) had ignored robberies and theft, and three in five (62%) did not report vehicle crime.
Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line home insurance, said: “Crime is at its lowest since 1981, but our research shows that it is still a major consideration for house hunters and homeowners.
"It is alarming that crime may go unreported because people are fearful of affecting the price of their property, as it will mean these crimes will not be investigated, potentially leaving criminals free to strike again.”
Vehicle Crime 49%
Robbery / Theft from person (including bicycle theft) 41%
Anti-social behaviour / public order offence 40%
Criminal damage 34%
Possession of weapons 34%