Does Inflation Lead To An Increase in Crime?
For the past few years, the United Kingdom has been living in unprecedented times. The COVID pandemic has decimated trade globally and led to an increase in unemployment, whilst the recent conflict in Ukraine has resulted in domestic gas prices rising by 96%. All of this has contributed to a troubling economic situation and in September 2022, it was announced that the annual inflation rate had hit a whopping 10.1%. This has culminated in a cost of living crisis and uncertain times are ahead for many households across the country.
Such a huge economic change is bound to have an impact on other areas of society too, but will this lead to an increase in crime? Should you be taking steps to protect your property? Astra Security will be answering these questions in this article.
Why does inflation cause an increase in crime?
The recorded crime rate in England and Wales hit a 20-year high between 2020-2021, reaching a peak of 106 crimes per thousand population. It’s no surprise when you consider the socio-economic factors that have contributed towards this. In this post-pandemic period, wages are stagnating and unemployment is on the rise. As a consequence, spending power is falling and theft and acquisitive crimes are increasing.
The link between inflation and crime can be explained by the fluctuation in the stolen goods market. As prices hike, so does the demand for cheap stolen goods. This strengthens the incentives for criminals to add to the supply of stolen products, resulting in property crime rates rising. This is demonstrated by a recent increase in bicycle thefts; this figure surged by 66% in 2022 when compared to the same period the previous year. The rise in demand for bicycles during the pandemic left manufacturers struggling to catch up. As such, prices rose to a premium and theft became a more attractive prospect.
Does crime increase depending on the seasons during a recession?
There is typically an uptick in crimes during the winter period; this can be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most obvious one is that the shorter days and extended darkness afford criminals the opportunity to go undetected. Furthermore, property crime may rise during the Christmas period, as an increase in electrical goods and luxury gift items makes your home a more attractive prospect for thieves. This is particularly true for commercial and retail properties, as opportunistic criminals may be hoping to take advantage of an increase in potential loot. This explains why, according to the ONS, domestic burglaries are 1.14 times more likely to occur in the winter when compared to summer months. The impact of a recession only exacerbates these factors.
How can I protect my property during an economic downturn?
You may feel helpless watching the news recently, however take comfort knowing that there are many steps you can take to protect your property in these troubling times. One of the most effective ways to discourage crime is to install CCTV cameras. They act as the ultimate visual deterrent, able to record high definition pictures – even in poor lighting conditions. This makes them a perfect investment for those darker winter months, especially as they cost very little to run and maintain.
Another simple and effective way to protect your property is via the installation of a burglar alarm. According to a Home Office report, 84% of burglars avoid homes with a visible security system. A burglar alarm quickly alerts you and your neighbours if you’ve been subject to a break in, reducing the chance of a thief escaping undetected.
An effective home security system offers you peace of mind in this uncertain period. It is clear that the combination of winter and an economic downturn will have an impact on crime statistics; don’t leave your valuables vulnerable. Astra Security has been operating in homes across the South East for over 40 years. We are your local home security specialists and our SSAIB-certified technicians install the highest quality equipment in properties across Maidstone, Medway, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford and beyond.
If you’re looking to upgrade your home security system for winter, contact our expert team today.