Homeowners keep quiet about crime

22 November 2016

Almost one in 10 adults (8%) have been a victim of – or witnessed a crime – but didn’t report it to the police in case it would devalue their property, according to new research.

Direct Line Home Insurance, which carried out the nationally representative poll of 2,007 people, also found that 9% of Brits would consider not reporting a crime, or would discourage their neighbour from reporting one, because it would show up on an online crime map. Those living in Newcastle (15%), Birmingham (13%), London (11%) and Glasgow (10%) are the least likely to report a crime for fear of this.


The research found that anti-social behaviour was the most commonly unreported crime (33%) followed by car crime (25%) and burglary and/or shoplifting (24%).

Half (49%) of adults in the UK would read up on the crime statistics in an area they were looking to move to, before buying or renting a property, with 47% admitting they wouldn’t be prepared to live in a high-crime neighbourhood.

More than a third (36%) of respondents claimed they would demand a lower price for a property in a high-crime area, while 35% would expect to pay less rent.

Rebecca Clapham, head of household products at Direct Line, says: “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, 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.”

Most common unreported crimes 
Anti-social behaviour/public order offence33%
Vehicle crime25%
Robbery/theft from person (including bicycle theft)21%
Criminal damage/arson20%
Possession of weapons19%
Violent or sexual offences15%
Other crime6%

Source: Direct Line, 2016

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