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The Credit Cruncher was conceived to help you to keep up to date with credit crunch and recession developments, it provides some helpful credit crunch advice and it addresses personal debt. The Credit Cruncher also seeks to explain how the credit crunch started and shed some light on the worldwide recession. Recently, we have begun to look at how BREXIT will affect the UK economy. Please feel free to leave comments where relevant.

20 Jan 2009

Unemployment effects

I remember first hearing the theory that a rise in unemployment leads to a rise in crime, and having one of those 'wait a minute...' moments. Are you saying that if I become unemployed I am more likely to steal something? How short-sighted, prejudgmental and downright rude...! The sort of thing you would expect from a politician - who are quite adept at demonstrating white-collar crime and sleaze despite the fact that they are wealthy fat-cats with excellent prospects. Peter Hain should be able to explain how it was that £103,157 of donations were not properly declared, however it seems such a paltry sum got overlooked... an administrative error.. I'd like someone to make such an administrative error in my favour...

However, I digress from my theme... my own feelings are that if you are the sort of person that is likely to steal, then having more time of your hands whilst being unemployed will make you more likely to steal from the general public rather than your employers, but really theft, crime, muggings and the like are a result of your state of mind not the state of your employment, job prospects or CV.
Whilst it is true that the criminal classes (?) are less likely to be actively pursuing work, it is NOT true to say that a person is more likely to become a criminal when they are unemployed.

Nevertheless it has been reported that the current financial crisis has had an effect on the crimes that are being committed and some of those specific areas of 'petty' crime are listed here:
  • Shoplifting - a marked increase has been evident in supermarket thefts leading to some surprising goods such as organic food being security tagged.
  • Garden theft - theft from gardens and allotments are on the increase as the fruits of the hard-work of domestic agriculture is being diverted to petty thieves.
  • Burgulary - There is concern that burgulary will be on the increase as a result of the failing economy and leaked government memo's have leant gravitas to this view.
  • Fuel theft - 'Bilking' (driving away from a forecourt without paying) and fuel theft from vehicles on the road have both been reported as on the increase.
  • Insurance fraud - Fraud such as deliberately writing off vehicles and false claims against holiday insurance, are on the increase - it is estimated that false car insurance claims cost other insurers around £40 a year.
Having looked at the evidence, there is a fair argument that economic crisis can lead to a crime wave, but I would stop short of linking unemployment with crime - how many burglars hold down a steady job I wonder? The list of crimes above does not signify a collapse of society into chaos, just an increase in activity by the low-life that stoop to these depths.

Related posts:
How to survive recession
Effects of the crunch in the UK
Will we all end up broke?
How long will the credit crunch last?

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