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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    May 2007
    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)

    The recession crime wave - England and Wales

    It's all coming your way America; I do hope your ready

    The recession crime wave

    The recession puts police on the back foot as official figures show offences in 31 police forces are on the rise.

    By Mark Hughes, Crime Correspondent and Ben Russell, Home Affairs Correspondent
    Saturday, 17 January 2009

    Robbery and burglary are on the rise across the country, almost doubling in some areas, according to figures that provide the first evidence that the economic downturn is fuelling crime.

    Figures obtained by The Independent from police forces across England and Wales show that cases of burglary or robbery rose in 31 of the 43 forces in the final four months of the year in comparison with the same period in 2007. In those 31 areas an extra 5,572 crimes of burglary and robbery were committed in the final months of 2008, compared with the previous year.

    Forces such as Greater Manchester, Suffolk, Gloucestershire and Cumbria all saw increases of between 20 and 50 per cent. Lincolnshire police saw the biggest rise, a 97 per cent increase in robbery between September and November – the most recent three-month period collated by the force – compared with the same three-month period the previous year.

    Crime figures released by the Home Office next week will show the amount of reported crime between July and September 2008. But The Independent has analysed more recent information, published by individual police forces, which show levels of crime up to the end of December.

    Despite crime generally falling in 2008, the emerging trend in the rise of recession-fuelled offences will be a worry for No 10 before a general election, when Labour's record on crime will be a key battleground.

    Police groups and the Government have said that they anticipated an increase in crime during the credit crunch but opposition politicians expressed alarm at scale of the rises. The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, warned Gordon Brown last year that there would be a sharp rise in crime as the economy struggled. In a memo, which was leaked in August 2008, she said: "Our modelling indicates that an economic downturn would place significant upward pressure on acquisitive crime and therefore overall crime figures."

    The shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, said: "These figures are alarming. We already know, from leaked government memos between the Home Office and the Prime Minister, that ministers feared a rise in acquisitive crime due to Gordon Brown's recession. These figures appear to be bearing this out.

    "At a time of economic crisis, with hundreds of thousands fearing losing their jobs, an increased threat of theft and robbery is the last thing people need."

    Almost one in two police forces has seen rises in both burglary and robbery. Eight have seen a rise in just burglary, while five have had increases only in robbery – the crime of stealing property through violence or intimidation. In total there were an extra 816 robberies and 4,756 more burglaries between September and December 2008 compared with 2007.

    Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on crime, said: "Ministers were all too keen to take the credit for falling crime in the good years, but they must now explain what they will do now crime is on the rise."

    Richard Garside, the director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London, said: "You don't need to have a degree in criminology or psychology to work out that in times of economic hardship some may resort to forms of behaviour they might not resort to if they were not feeling under pressure and that may include some forms of acquisitive crime."

    Some of the biggest rises have come in the south of England. Dorset, Cambridgeshire and Sussex have all seen rises of more than 20 per cent in at least one of the offences. Of the six forces which saw both burglary and robbery drop following the beginning of the credit crunch, three – Cheshire, Cleveland and Humberside – are in the North. Merseyside saw burglary drop by 6 per cent and robbery increase by just 1 per cent. The Metropolitan Police, by far the country's biggest force, saw both burglary and robbery fall.

    Greater Manchester Police saw a 21 per cent rise in burglary in the final three months of last year compared with 2007 – an extra 368 crimes. In response they launched Operation Guardian. A spokesman said: "In the long term the amount of burglaries had decreased and is decreasing, but you do get blips.

    "We expect it to rise when the dark nights draw in and when Christmas is approaching, but the figures went up beyond what we would have expected last year and the credit crunch was definitely a factor."

    In Newcastle, robbery increased by 40 per cent year-on-year between October and December – an extra 65 crimes. The Chief Constable of Northumbria police, Mike Craik, said: "It would be foolish indeed not to anticipate that the credit crunch would impact on crime and, in particular, acquisitive crime. This is exactly why we moved our focus from youth disorder to crime reduction back in November, with due regard to economic events as they were unfolding."

    A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said: "It is likely that the economic downturn may well lead to significant challenges for police forces across the country, but we would say that the police service has never been in a better position to meet those challenges. It is bigger, better and stronger than ever before.

    "At the moment we are not aware of anyone drawing on the crime statistics and making a link between crime and the credit crunch, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that that may be the case. A lot of people have said that the credit crunch may bring about an increase in crime."

    Despite the trends seeming to suggest otherwise, many forces say that there is no link between the sudden rise in these acquisitive crimes and the credit crunch. Robbery in Suffolk increased by 53 per cent, but a force spokeswoman said: "At this stage there is nothing to suggest that this is down to the current economic climate."

    'I turned to crime to escape the credit crunch'

    Faced with mounting debts as the financial downturn worsened, Ian Bray and Graham Elford turned to theft, writes Mark Hughes.

    Previously of relatively good character – Bray had never been in trouble with the police and Elford had one public order offence to his name – the pair began a scheme to make money.

    Armed with just a screwdriver they stole almost £700 in cash from parking meters at five car parks in their home town of St Austell, Cornwall.

    But their lack of criminal expertise caught up with them when they dropped their screwdriver inside one of the machines and, having neglected to wear gloves, were linked to the crime by DNA evidence.

    When caught they immediately admitted their guilt, even volunteering information to police about their other meter thefts. Bray told police: "I am very sorry". Elford said: "It was a stupid mistake. I guarantee it will never happen again."

    At court, their solicitor told magistrates in Bodmin in November that the pair were "deeply ashamed and sorry" and had only committed the crimes because they saw it as "an easy way out of the credit crunch".

    He said Elford, 36, faced financial hardship which was exacerbated by the fact that he had to pay £500 a month in maintenance to his ex-wife.

    Bray, 30, earned £200 a week as a mechanic, but the downturn meant his outgoings were now exceeding his income, the court heard.

    The two men were given 12-month community orders, four-month curfews and ordered to pay £2,500 each to cover the damage to the meters. ... 18228.html
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  2. #2
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Joliet, Il
    From alot I have read, it seemed they sort of hoped the Great America would stand....we folded as well.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member BetsyRoss's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    The last time the economy was bad around here, we had a lot of car break-ins, some car thefts, and there were reports of home invasions.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2008
    From what I have read, it isn't only British Isles that are having riots, but there have been some in Greece, France and even Lativia. Circuit City declares bankrupty (34,000 jobs lost) Citigroup laying off about 50,000, any corporate mergers mean more layoffs, and the rest of the world (like China) buying our Treasury obligations are getting very worried about our ability to repay. Two wars taking trillions out of our pockets while those pockets are not being refilled because of job loss.
    The rest of the world has seen that we have built a house of cards, importing and borrowing everything, while the base of the economy, the worker, is sitting idle in larger numbers. And not to mention the continual influx of illegals taking whatever they can get, and GWB telling us the fundamentals of the economy are sound, it shows that the rest of the world and the American people are not idiots. We know better.
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