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Recessions drive an increase in crime: What to expect in the near future…

We have all endured the unfortunate consequences of the current recession. Problems such as high food prices, rising energy costs, and the fall in real wages have dramatically affected the U.K.’s economy.

These ongoing issues have made it difficult for many families to make ends meet. However, there is another serious problem that has authorities on high alert: the inevitable increase in crime rates.

With experts stating that the recession is expected to continue well into 2024, police forces and other security organisations must take action to ensure they can prevent burglaries and similar crimes from occurring.

Crime is on the Rise in the U.K. Due to the Recession

Experts in home security have predicted that the increased cost of living could cause a rise in residential and commercial burglaries. Information obtained from more than 30 police forces show that officers logged as many as 1,002,228 residential burglaries between April 2017 and March 2022.

The Metropolitan Police recorded the highest amount of those burglaries, with a total of 255,617 occurring in their jurisdiction. The Greater Manchester Police reported 92,007 incidents, while the West Midlands Police reported 67,981.

All police forces in the U.K. reported a significant drop in the number of burglaries, theft, and sexual offences during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, other crimes, such as Computer Misuse Act (CMA) offences and fraud, increased during that time whilst more people were working from home. As pandemic restrictions were lifted, the number of burglaries and other similar crimes started to rise again as of April 2022.

Why is There Such a Great Increase in Crime During a Recession?

The hike in the cost of living in the U.K. and other regions has left many residents in a state of despair, unable to cover everyday costs. Add that to the runaway inflation that has caused one in five Britons to fall into poverty, and you have the reason why some otherwise honest individuals may resort to theft.  

Food Theft

Food theft in the U.K. soared in 2022. The situation got so bad that shop owners placed security tags on higher-priced pieces of meat and other foods considered luxury items, such as wine and cheese.

To help put things into perspective, surveys showed that half a million children in the U.K. required food aid in the last few months of 2022. In addition, as of October 2022, inflation had reached a 41-year high at 11.1 per cent.

Although inflation has likely reached its peak, the British Chambers of Commerce expects the U.K. to remain in a recession for five quarters before it reaches a state of recovery in 2024. Therefore, police forces and other security organisations should be prepared for even more criminal activity.

Crime Increase in the U.S. During the Great Recession

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a recession has caused crime rates to rise in many parts of the world. Historical data shows evidence that specific crimes often increase during periods of a financial crisis.

For instance, during the Great Recession, between December 2007 and June 2009, 44% of 233 police agencies in the U.S. reported a spike in burglaries, robberies, and auto theft.

How Access to Better Resources Has Helped Decrease Crime Rates During Recessions

Despite the figures mentioned above, there has been a long debate over whether there is a connection between the failing economy and crime. Some experts have said there is no connection and have statistics to support their claims. 

However, when Reuters interviewed a group of police chiefs, criminologists, and sociologists in October 2008, they all agreed that a rise in criminal activity in the U.S. was occurring as the recession progressed. Sociologists also state that crime increased during every recession in the U.S. since the late 1950s.

Police forces in the U.S. also saw an increase in violent crimes between 2005 and 2006. The authorities had the resources available to help them respond quickly to alerts, and police also took on overtime hours to monitor hot spots using additional patrol units and sending in specialised units as needed.

Because they could respond to alerts faster and send in more officers to areas where criminal activity was likely to occur, crime rates started to fall back down in 2007.

The fact that many forces are stretched in terms of resources makes the threat of increased crime rates all the more ominous. However, the ability to stop potential criminal activity before it starts has caused crime rates to fall in some parts of the U.S. and the U.K., proving that with the right tools and resources, crime rates can decline even during a recession.

How Alarm Monitoring Software Helps Reduce Crime

We have already seen a spike in criminal activity during the current recession, which is forecasted to continue into 2024. Rapidly detection of incidents is the key to early intervention for any operational team. The Gemini-Sense platform gives your team the tools you need to deliver that service to your sites. It is designed to facilitate clear, quick response, ensuring that lives, assets, and property are protected.

The Gemini-Sense PSIM platform is among the most innovative and comprehensive in the security industry. It is designed to detect all manner of critical events through any IP-enabled device including a whole range of supported video systems, alarm signalling systems, access control and lone worker devices.

To learn more about how GeminiSense can help your organisation prevent all manner of incidents, get in contact to request a demo.

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This list shows those CCTV products where at least minimum functionality is supported. As manufacturers improve their products and GeminiSense is continuously enhanced, the integration functionality is subject to change.