With crime rates falling, is personal safety still an issue?

Incidents of violent crime have dropped dramatically in the UK – so do we still need to be concerned about our Personal Safety?


Following the recent Home Office report, information provided showed that the recorded crime rate has fallen by 38% since 2002, the UK government claim this is down to good policing and comes in spite of staffing reductions of up to 20% across the UK.


Most striking perhaps is the fact that this decline has occurred across so many categories of crime. The only category to show a significant increase is theft from the person/fraud which rose by 8% to 107,471 recorded offences.  It is worth noting that incidents of violent crime have also dropped in the USA and many European countries so this trend is not unique to the UK.


Certainly we know there are factors which can reduce crime – car manufacturers have made ‘hot wiring’ cars a thing of the past; improved home security makes burglary much more difficult and let’s not forget the ‘target hardening’ benefits of personal safety training.


Many employers now see Personal Safety & Conflict Resolution training as a core part of their induction programmes particularly for those who are lone workers employed in challenging or high risk roles.  And while employers do have a duty to consider the personal safety of their staff it may surprise you to hear that statistically lone workers are not the group most at risk.


When we ask delegates ‘Statistically which group in society do you think is most at risk from assault?’  Invariably the response will be lone workers or the elderly and elderly women in particular.   While elderly people are vulnerable they are more commonly the victims of ‘distraction burglaries’ not street crime. (For more on this topic or to view our next blog post, sign up on our homepage)


It may surprise you to learn that statistically the most vulnerable age group is 16-24 year olds and young men are more liable to be victims of assault than young women.  


But becoming a victim of crime is not inevitable.  Criminals look for easy targets and if they think attacking you will be too much trouble or sense that you could identify them, they will abort and look for an easier target.  Personal safety training can make a lot of difference to a young person’s risk profile – often after delivering training to students, adults present comment that they wish there had been similar training when they were younger – they might have avoided whatever criminal activity they became prey to when they first started college.  Indeed there is nothing more likely to take the shine off your first term at university than becoming the victim of crime.

If you would like to hear more about our short course on Street Survival Skills for young people please give Brooks Jordan a call on 01623 407793 and ask for Julie.


So what do you think?  Are the Police getting better at detecting crime?  Are more criminals going straight or might there be another explanation?  Could it be that we are finally wising up to crime?

Tweet your thoughts to @brooksjordants

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