It’s been a tough couple of years for both businesses and people alike. First, the COVID pandemic, which stopped the world in its tracks for over a year and a half, and led to an unemployment rate of nearly 4%. Then, just as the economy was starting to get back on its feet, war broke out between Russia and Ukraine and caused the fuel prices to rocket sky high. The cost of living is also increasing in general, with energy tariffs increasing a whopping 54% and the food prices all on the increase, it is getting harder to make ends meet.
In May 2022, the UK’s annual inflation rate was 9.1%, the highest it has been since 1982. As everyone starts to feel the pinch and people have to get by on the bare minimum, the lure of theft becomes more attractive. So, what is the link between inflation and crime rates?
Why does inflation increase crime?
According to Crime and Justice, ‘Inflation may be connected to crime through the dynamics of markets for stolen goods. As prices rise, the demand for cheap stolen goods grows, which strengthens incentives to increase the supply of stolen merchandises’.
During the first lockdown when people were pretty much confined to their houses and desperate for an escape, searches for bicycles rocketed and manufacturers simply couldn’t keep up with demand. This has led to a 55% increase in bike thefts up and down the UK in early 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, as people couldn’t afford to pay premium prices to acquire their set of wheels.
Some researchers suggest that inflation may be a better indication of rising crime levels than unemployment or general economic hardship. Shoplifting and thefts surge due to inflation, so it’s more important than ever to ensure your house and valuables are well-protected.
How can I reduce the impact of inflation, and reduce the risk of a burglary?
Sadly, it’s impossible to predict how long inflation will last, and as we head towards the winter months, it is likely that crime rates will increase as people struggle to cope with the cost-of-living crisis. It can take up a lot of headspace worrying about the effects of both inflation and crime; and although there isn’t much that you can do to reduce inflation, you can take active steps to safeguard your house against break-ins. Ensuring you have an up-to-date security system will give you complete peace of mind that your belongings are protected and give you one less thing to worry about! Knowing your house is as safe as it can be allows you to completely relax when inside, as well as automatically increase feelings of well-being and promote positive mental health. The positive effects of feeling completely safe and secure inside your home cannot be overstated, so it’s really worth safeguarding your home as best you can.
What can I do to protect my home and possessions during inflation?
With a recession looming, now is the perfect time to consider upgrading your security or fixing any security issues which need to be resolved at home. This is especially important during the summer months, when people are more likely to leave their doors and windows open, and not give as much thought to safeguarding their house.
Make sure your locks are up to date, and to change any that are faulty. Sticky or loose locks that don’t open and close smoothly are not only frustrating for the homeowner, but also mean they offer an easier target for thieves looking to gain entry. Our specialist locksmiths can supply, fit, change or repair a wide variety of locks, so get in touch today to ensure your house is well-protected. We also offer a security survey, to give additional advice about how to better protect your home and your treasured possessions. For even more peace of mind, we also offer alarm installation, which acts as a great deterrent: 60% of burglars say they would be discouraged from targeting a house if they knew the owners had an alarm installed.
It is clear to see that the rising costs of living and inflation do sadly have a big increase in crime rates, so don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Make sure to check out our other great blogs about how to protect against common methods use to enter your home, as well as the 5 benefits of changing your locks, so you can be as protected as possible. Get in touch today with one of our local locksmiths who will be happy to help.