A fifth of adults (19 per cent) living in the capital admit they have been a victim of, or witnessed a crime, but have not reported it to the police for fear it would show up on an online police crime map and devalue their property or make it more difficult to rent, new research from Direct Line Home Insurance has revealed.
The study also reveals that 1.1m (17 per cent) Londoners would consider not reporting a crime, or would discourage their neighbour from reporting one because it would show up on an online crime map. This is well above the national average of nine per cent and a dangerous prospect since many crimes in the capital could go unreported. Out of the respondents not reporting a crime in London, vehicle crime was the most commonly ignored (46 per cent) followed by possession of weapons (45 per cent) and burglary / shoplifting (34 per cent).
More than half (57 per cent) of London-based adults would check crime statistics in a neighbourhood they were looking to move to, before committing to buying or renting a property with 2.6 million3 (39 per cent) refusing to live in a high crime neighbourhood. This refusal could rule out traditionally highly desirable areas such as Westminster, which had a total of 3,9064 notifiable crimes reported in one month, the highest rate of all of the London boroughs.
However, 32 per cent would be more accepting of renting or buying in a high crime area if the neighbourhood exhibited signs of gentrification. This may mean that some areas like Brixton are more desirable, despite Lambeth having the second highest crime rate in September 2016, with 2,9325 notifiable crimes reported in one month.
Rebecca Clapham, head of household products at Direct Line: “London is in its own property bubble and this has filtered through to how Londoners 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 in the capital 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.
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