With poorer households experiencing the worst of the cost-of-lving crisis and rising inflation in the UK hitting a 40 year high, Andy Cooke, the new HM chief inspector of constabulary has said this will “invariably” fuel a rise in crime.
“I think whenever you see an increase in the cost of living or whenever you see more people dropping into poverty, I think you’ll invariably see a rise in crime,”
Said Mr Cooke, a former chief constable of Merseyside Police who has worked in policing since 1985.
Mr Cooke is reported to have expressed concern that UK police forces are still suffering due to cuts imposed by the Conservative party and he warned that cost increases due to inflation, such as fuel, will have a further detrimental impact on police budgets.
Civil Unrest Fears
The Times reported a “senior source” in UK policing warning that the cost-of-living crisis will spark a wave of civil unrest. Policing organisations and chief constables are currently sharing intelligence about the potential for disorder and looking into how they can bolster their numbers to deal with major incidents.
The senior source is reported to have stated:
“We know historically that where the economy suffers, acquisitive crime goes up and there is more potential for unrest.”
Parents Stealing to Feed Children
Tom McNeil, the Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands has stated that while there is “no excuse for crime” it is “common sense” that poverty is one reason people do the wrong thing. He told the Daily Mirror:
“Desperation leads people to do desperate things... “Working in the world of policing and criminal justice, I can confidently say to you, we are going to see a crime spree as a result of this price hike bonanza.”
He highlighted how the government’s lack of adequate support for poorer families is going to result in a rise in parents stealing to feed their children. He warned that we are likely to see increases in car theft and vulnerable people being exploited into sex work. Desperate people will inevitably resort to desperate measures to keep up with rent and bill payments.
Burglaries Committed by Neighbours
UK crime statistics show how most burglaries are committed by opportunist criminals who live within just two miles of the targeted home. Most burglaries are committed during the daytime, between 10.00AM and 3.00PM and these days they are more likely to steal car keys and personal identity data, such as documents, laptops, passports and bank cards, which they can sell.
These criminals don’t tend to carry equipment but they know what to look for, outside homes, to enable them to break in, such as gardening tools, ladders and even wheelie bins that can be used to reach upper storey windows. And almost 50% of burglaries in the UK are committed on the spur of the moment, without any planning.
Home Security is Essential
These warnings make it clear that home security is vitally important in these hard times. It's essential that properties are not seen as easy targets by potential intruders who may be desperate enough to commit crime to pay their bills and feed their families.