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21 million Brits admit they will not live in high crime areas

23rd July 2014 Print

21 million 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, according to research from Direct Line Home Insurance. 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 (50 per cent) of UK adults would check crime statistics in a neighbourhood they were looking to move to, before committing to buying or renting.
With property and rental prices at an all-time high crime has become a serious financial consideration for home owners. Direct Line’s research highlights that more than five million people in the UK would consider not reporting crime to the police because it could make it more difficult to sell or rent their property, or reduce its value.
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.”
Over two million Brits say they have been a victim of crime or witnessed a criminal offence in the last twelve months, but not reported it to the police for fear of impacting the desirability or value of their property. Almost one in ten (eight per cent) Brits 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 per cent) had ignored robberies and theft, and three in five (62 per cent) did not report vehicle crime.

Crimes unreported

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%

Lomas continued: “With the housing market on the up, homeowners are concerned about doing anything that could prevent a potential property sale or rental and unfortunately that can include turning a blind eye to crime.
“Most insurers do ask householders for a crime reference number during the claims process when the loss or damage is a result of a crime. If you haven’t reported the crime then you may find your claim is rejected.”