The crimes set to soar this summer

Union Jack handbagJohn Stillwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The official crime figures were out yesterday. There was much celebrating among the authorities, as it emerged that you're less likely to be murdered and 7% less likely to be involved in some sort of violence. However, underneath the positive veneer there was some very worrying news: three of the kinds of crime you are most likely to be a victim of are soaring.

So what the biggest risks for you, and why is this even more alarming at this time of year?

Falling crime

The overall crime figures stayed roughly the same as last year, it was the major crimes that fell the most dramatically - including a fall of 14% in murders. However, to be fair, unless you hang out with the wrong people in the wrong places - doing the wrong things - then your chances of being murdered tend to be reasonably low any way.

The good news is that burglaries are also down - some 4%, so that if you are at home with the doors and windows locked you should be fine.


The trouble is, however, that there have been rises in what the survey calls 'other types of theft'. This offence makes up more than a quarter of all crime recorded by the police, and there are three ways in which you are vulnerable.

The first is household items left outside your property - including things like garden furniture, tools and in some cases even plants. Theft of these things has increased 10% in the last year. It was estimated that there were nearly 1.4 million incidents of 'other household theft', making up 14% of the crime.

There are two things at play here. The first is that the garden is home to an increasing number of accessories and gadgets, which are worth taking. Once they have your BBQ, patio furniture and lawnmower, you can easily have lost £1,000 of goods. The second is that as other home security gets more sophisticated, burglars are more likely to target those things which haven't been secured.

Of course, the big risk is that this kind of crime continues to rise, as we invest in yet more playthings for the garden as the sun comes out, and it's too much for thieves to resist.

Unattended property

The second risk is 'theft of unattended property' which includes things left lying around - such as bags, wallets and phones while you are out and about. Again, this tends to be easy pickings, especially as we carry an increasing amount of gadgetry.

The worry is that the summer will accelerate the trend. As we sit in the pub garden, or the city square to watch the Olympics, it's easy to take your eye off your belongings - or to consume more alcohol which makes us less cautious. We can expect these figures to rise still further over the summer months.


Finally, the third risk is 'theft from the person' - or pickpocketing - which is up 11%. This still makes up relatively few crimes in the UK, but is particularly rife in London.

The concern here is that if you are visiting the capital for the games - or for any other reason this Summer - there is a hugely increased risk that you will be vulnerable to pickpockets. The experts warn that its worth taking extra care in London this summer, and any time you are out and about.

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