Homeowners turn a blind eye to crime

Ryan Bembridge

November 22, 2016

row of houses

UK homeowners are failing to report crimes such as burglaries because they don’t want to devalue their properties, research from Direct Line Home Insurance has revealed.

Direct Line found that 8% of Britons have failed to report a crime because it would show up on an online police crime map; potentially devaluing their property or making it more difficult to rent.

What is more 9% would consider not reporting a crime or discouraging their neighbour from doing so for the same reason.

Anti-social behaviour was the most commonly unreported (33%), followed by vehicle crime (25%) and burglary and/or shoplifting (24%).

Rebecca Clapham, head of household products at Direct Line: “We are a nation obsessed with property and this has even filtered through to how we report crime with some homeowners concerned about doing anything that could devalue their home.

“It’s frightening that people are turning a blind eye to crime with some going unreported as a result. People need to remember that the purpose of a crime map is to analyse crime to help law enforcement and to evaluate crime prevention strategies, not to devalue a property.

“Our homes contain some of our most prized possessions and so it’s important to make sure they are properly protected. It’s concerning that burglary is one of the top three unreported crimes, especially as you need a crime reference number during the claims process when the loss or damage is as a result of a crime.

“If you haven’t reported the crime you won’t be able to have this and you may find your claim is rejected.”

Those living in Newcastle (15%), Birmingham (13%), London (11%) and Glasgow (10%) are the least likely to report a crime in their area.

Half (49) of UK adults check crime statistics in a neighbourhood they are looking to move to before committing to buying or renting. A similar proportion (47%) would refuse to live in a neighbourhood with a high crime rate.

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