Concern over crime doubles since start of the year

Adam McDonnellResearch Director of Political and Social Research
October 03, 2018, 9:36 AM GMT+0

Crime has now become one of the top 5 biggest issues that Brits worry about

Concern over crime has seen a sustained increase over the course of 2018, according to new YouGov analysis.

Twice as many Britons now see crime as one of the top issues facing the country than did in January. In the latest poll, 23% name crime as one of the two or three issues that concern them the most, compared to just 11% at the start of the year.

Although it is common to see short-term spikes for certain areas within our issues tracker due to isolated events – the Skripal poisoning attacks resulted in a spike for defence and security in April and the cold weather causes extra concern about healthcare in winter – this has not been the case for crime.

While the recent concern about crime reached a peak of 27% in April following continuous media stories surrounding knife crime in London, concern has remained at around 20-23% for the following six months, noticeably above the level it had been in the previous five years.

Crime now ranks higher than housing, education, defence, and welfare as a top concern for the public. Brexit continues to rank way above any other issue, with healthcare in a distant second. Immigration and the economy are now the only other issues that are seen as more pressing than crime amongst British adults. This means that over the last year it has now become a top five issue of concern rather than a top ten issue.

Londoners in particular are concerned about crime

With much of the attention in the media around crime coming from London, it is perhaps unsurprising that it is seen as a bigger issue amongst Londoners than it is for the rest of Britain. Combined data from August and September shows that 30% of people living in London view crime as one of the most important issues facing the country compared to 22% living elsewhere.

In January/February attitudes in the capital and country were much closer together; 14% in London and 11% in the rest of Britain. So while some of this is clearly being driven by public opinion in London, crime is undoubtedly more of an issue for Britain as a whole, than it was 10 months ago.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here: chart 1, chart 2, chart 3, chart 4