Community-minded senior citizens are creating ‘safe havens’ with the lowest crime rates in the country, according to the latest figures.
A new study from Lloyds TSB Insurance reveals a growing link between age and crime rates, with the safest areas in Britain increasingly populated by the over-50s.
Britain’s emerging ‘safe havens’ include North Norfolk, Berwick-upon-Tweed and West Somerset, which experience half the crime suffered in other parts of the country and whose population includes more than two in five people (43 per cent) over the age of 50.1
Rates of burglary and malicious property damage are particularly low in these ‘safe havens’, running at around 40 per cent less than national levels.
The study suggests that low crime is promoted by the community-orientated mindset of older people. The over-50s are five times more likely than the under-35s to know their neighbours personally and are far more inclined to report suspicious behaviour in their area. 2
This anti-crime ‘halo’ created by older people is aided by much higher membership of community groups. One in six (16 per cent) are active in Neighbourhood Watch schemes, compared to a tiny proportion of those in their twenties and thirties (5 per cent).
The waning community spirit of younger Britons is explained in part by more transient, urban lifestyles. Many young people say they see ‘no point’ in getting to know their neighbours3 and a hard core of one in twenty Londoners (7 per cent) has never met or spoken to anyone who lives nearby.
Phil Loney, managing director, General Insurance, Lloyds Banking Group said:
“Our findings demonstrate that younger people aren’t as community-minded as their parent and this mindset can have a big impact on safety and security in our neighbourhoods.
“Young people can learn a huge amount from the older generation about security consciousness. Taking a little time to look out for other people’s property and reporting anything suspicious can have a huge impact on burglary rates and anti-social behaviour.