Crime in Britain’s most affluent areas is rising at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country, an analysis of official data has revealed.
After looking at Home Office crime figures in detail, which was broken down into neighbourhoods and household incomes over the past two years, the Telegraph found an alarming rise in certain offences in the country’s least deprived areas.
In fact, robbery and theft as well as drug offences in the wealthiest districts of England and Wales outstripped the national average by up to four times.
But why is crime rising in affluent areas? And what can you do about it?
Reasons for crime rising in affluent areas
The Telegraph has linked the rise of crime in affluent areas to an increased demand for drugs, fuelled in part by greater availability because of county lines drug running.
County lines drug crime refers to inner-city gangs extending their operations into more rural communities. Due to their extensive resources, established drug gangs not only drive out local dealers but also exploit young and vulnerable people. The rural drug industry is said to be worth more than £800,000 a year.
In parts of Oxfordshire, where the average household income is £55,000, drug offences have risen by 60 per cent in one year. It’s a similar story in Kent, especially north-east Maidstone, where violence and sexual offences have gone up by more than 70 per cent. In central Cambridge, robberies are up almost 50 per cent.
On account of county lines drug crime, the government has announced that 20,000 new police officers are to be recruited across the nation. Furthermore, a recent UK-wide county lines crackdown has seen police arrest more than 700 suspects and seize a total of £253,200-worth of cocaine, £100,170-worth of crack cocaine and £72,670-worth of heroin.
Even so, an estimated 2,000 lines continue to operate throughout the UK, putting both homes and businesses on high alert.
How to counter the rise in crime
If problems with county lines persist, there is a good chance we’ll see both domestic and commercial robberies increase, as drug addicts will need to fuel their habit.
Unfortunately, only three percent of property is recovered after a burglary, and only one in 10 reported crimes result in a charge being upheld. Therefore, proactively attempting to prevent burglary is much better than retrospectively pursuing charges.
Here’s what businesses must do to counter crime:
- Make sure that all outside entrances and internal security doors are equipped with deadbolt locks.
- Fit windows with secure locks and burglar-resistant glass.
- For both doors and windows, look to install metal security crossbars and pin down any exposed hinges.
- Light the inside and outside of your building at night.
- Leave the cash register open and empty when you close, making sure it can be seen from outside.
- Use a fireproof safe and anchor it securely.
- Purchase an alarm system or CCTV surveillance.
Access Facilities Management is able to provide businesses with all of the aforementioned security measures, so get in touch if you need us to give you a helping hand.