CRIME COSTS £15 BILLION A YEAR

July 04, 2008 10:25 AM

  • FULL COST OF CRIME BREAKDOWN FOR 39 POLICE FORCES IN ENGLAND, WALES AND NORTHERN IRELAND
  • CRIME COSTS ALMOST £275 PER HEAD OF POPULATION
  • HIGHEST COST OF CRIME IS IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE - FULL LEAGUE TABLE PUBLISHED

With crime levels top of the list of voters’ concerns, this paper (PDF), for the first time, details the cost of recorded crime per person in each of the police force areas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2007, the latest year for which data is available.

The Cost of Crime report uses crime data from each police force – gathered using the Freedom of Information Act – and compares the number of different crimes in each police force area in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the Home Office estimates of the cost of each type of crime to produce a clear and accessible picture of the true impact of recorded crime around the country. Using local population figures, the TaxPayers' Alliance have produced a league table of police forces ranked by the cost of crime per head of population, allowing local citizens to assess the performance of their local police and compare it with other parts of the country.

The full report, including full breakdowns for each police force, analysis and comparative league tables, can be found here (PDF).

KEY FINDINGS

 

  • Recorded crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland cost nearly £15 billion in 2007, equivalent to nearly £275 for every person.
  • Violence against the person, including murder and serious assault, was responsible for the highest economic and social costs, at around £155 per person.
  • Residents of Nottinghamshire suffered from the highest cost of crime, at £390 per person.  It was closely followed by London, at £388 per personHumberside had the third highest cost at £380 per person. A full table is provided in the report.
  • Many, predominantly rural, areas saw a far lower cost of crime.  Crime cost £130 per resident in North Yorkshire, £186 per resident in Dyfed Powys and £194 per resident in Surrey.

Matthew Sinclair, Policy Analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Every one of us pays a steep price for high crime rates, particularly those living in urban areas.  Whether we have been victims of crime, are afraid to go out at night or are just paying ever more to protect and insure ourselves and our property, crime has significant economic, emotional and social costs for us all.  The problem is that politicians in Whitehall insist on micro-managing the police. If the Government give people the information and the power to tailor their local police force to their local needs, we will be able to drive crime levels down and improve the lives of millions.”

**UPDATE**

Lincoln's Freedom of Information request was sent to an inactive e-mail address which delayed getting a response.  Those figures have now been supplied.  We've run the calculations and the figures are the following:

Total cost of crime: £152.4 million
Cost of crime per person: £222.13
Cost of crime per person rank: 34

Nottinghamshire Police contacted the press telling them that there were errors in the figures they had sent to us.  They didn't bother to send us the correction but we rang them to find out what was going on and now have the new figures.  They are significantly lower than the original numbers that we were supplied.

Here are Nottingham's revised figures:

Total cost of crime: £375.4 million
Cost of crime per person: £355.70
Cost of crime per person rank: 8

This clearly affects the rankings of other forces.  E.g. London moves up to 1.

Just to again make it absolutely clear.  Nottingham did not find a flaw in our calculations.  They corrected a mistake on their own part in sending us flawed figures in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.  Here's the headline in the Nottingham Evening Post:

"NOTTS POLICE ADMIT ERROR IN COST OF CRIME STUDY"

 

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