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Fear of Crime Causing £6.6bn worth of Property sales per Year

The fear of crime can have an impact on many different areas in society. With violent crime appearing to be on the rise in the UK, it is understandable that many people are concerned about their safety. Certain areas of the UK have higher crime rates than others. With so much information now available online, combined with 24-hour access to news, it is easy for potential buyers to get caught up in fear of crime. This fear has had a substantial impact on the property market, with sales worth £6.6bn falling through annually.

The figures

It is estimated that nearly 2.5% of property sales are falling through because of buyers’ fear of crime. This is a fairly large percentage, equating to 80 property sales per day. More than two-thirds of people looking to buy homes say that they’re concerned over crime rates in the area where they wish to buy.

The biggest worry for potential buyers in terms of crime is becoming victim to property-related or violent crime, with 11 per cent of them voicing their concern over being burgled. The worry does appear to be justified – crime rates in the UK rose by 12 per cent between the years of 2014 and 2018. This means crimes are being reported at a rate of 11 per minute.

Statistics gained by Churchill Home Insurance also state that estate agents are noticing the impact crime is having on sales (source). One in seven estate agents now believes that sales are affected by crime rates and fear of crime.

Should crime deter buyers from purchasing their dream home?

Despite the statistics, potential buyers can take steps to avoid becoming victims of crime. They should aim to deter criminals, rather than be deterred themselves. By fitting property with security equipment, buyers are less likely to be burgled. Most homes that are targeted for burglaries often lack security features. Criminals usually target the easiest homes to enter: those that do not display any obvious security features.

Craig Rixon, the head of Churchill Home Insurance believes, “No matter where the property is, or what the crime rates are in the area, homes should always be fitted with an appropriate level of security features, including locks, an alarm, and security lights, as often burglars will look for the easiest home to enter on a street.”

Furthermore, he stated that homeowners should always opt for fully comprehensive home insurance for additional peace of mind. Many insurance policies cover the contents of homes that may be lost in the event of a burglary.

Tips to protect your home from burglary

You should always make sure your property does not look appealing in any way to a burglar. This means ensuring your home would be a challenge to enter. Many burglars don’t like to take risks, so the more risks you put in place, the less likely you are to fall victim to this crime.

Many people are now fitting CCTV to their properties; this adds additional security that will make your house stand out as a risky property to enter. CCTV is now more advanced than ever before, with many systems allowing you to manage your security system remotely from a smartphone and monitor your property when you are away from it.

If you are planning on going away for a significant period of time, always consider the fact that your property could display signs of being easy to enter. An empty home provides less risk to burglars, so you should strive to make your home appear as if it is occupied at all times. One way to do this is to ensure that any deliveries such as milk or newspapers are paused for the period that you are away, and ask a neighbour to collect any parcels for you. If you want to go one step further, you can even set lighting or televisions to switch on and off on a timer when you are away. This will help to create the illusion that your property is occupied.

Some people like to leave a spare key under a plant pot or stone in the garden. This is never a good idea, and criminals are more than aware of this “trick”. If you want an easily accessible spare key, consider leaving it with a neighbour instead.

Editors Note: This content was provided by Churchill Insurance

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