Monday, 17 September 2012

PROPERTY ARTICLE: The Safest Borough in London. Copyright SvD.

Which is the safest borough in London?

A client who has very young kids recently asked me which London borough is the safest place to raise a family. I have to admit that I did not know the answer straight away. Like most people, I consider London to be a relatively danger-free city and as long as one follows basic common sense, it is a very safe place to live and work. However my client’s question got me feeling somewhat curious and so I went off in search of a response.

According to the Metropolitan Police, crime overall in the capital has stabilised. The annual figures confirm that for the last three years, the total number of crimes committed in the capital averaged 82,000. per year. The figure for 2011 was marginally down on the previous year and the trend thus far for 2012 looks set to remain the same. Although the trend is encouraging, these figures are still too high and a drastic reduction would be welcomed by London residents, visitors and tourists alike.

The most prolific crime in the capital is violence against a person which accounts for around 20% of all crime committed in the capital every year. The most dangerous borough for this type of crime is Ealing with Westminster, Croydon, Newham, Brent, Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets all following in near numbers. The safest borough for encountering violence against a person is Kingston Upon Thames followed very closely by Richmond Upon Thames, Bexley and Kensington & Chelsea.

The second most prevalent crime in the capital is theft from a motor vehicle. The most likely place to have your car broken into is Wandsworth followed by Newham, Waltham Forest and Kensington & Chelsea. The safest place to park your car without fear of a break-in appears to be Kingston Upon Thames followed closely by Richmond Upon Thames and Sutton.

The third most prevalent crime is residential burglary. Densely populated and prosperous boroughs like Kensington & Chelsea (where the highest incidence was recorded), Islington, Camden, Westminster, Greenwich, Wandsworth and Hammersmith & Fulham are popular targets for thieves.
The lowest incidence of residential burglary is in Sutton, followed by Kingston Upon Thames and Richmond Upon Thames.

I should have noted that the highest type of crime across the capital is antisocial behaviour but I have deliberately omitted those figures from this article simply because the crime itself encompasses everything from begging in the street to harassment to racial slurs to substance abuse et al. The Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 was amended to the Anti-Social Behaviour Act of 2003 and the revised act includes a very long list indeed of offences considered antisocial. Most of my clients and professionals moving to London tend to rate burglary and violence as the barometers for defining a safe society. No doubt antisocial behaviour is a rising and worrying trend in London and one wonders how it will ever be eradicated completely, as we all know people are usually their own worst enemies.

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