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Would you be put off by police site stats when buying a house, esp arson damage incidents?

(18 Posts)
beaglesaresweet Sat 01-Mar-14 21:45:18

I've gone and looked at te police website where you can put a postcode in, and am quite shocked. 193 incidents in Jan in the postcode, though not so bad overall near the actual house. BUT near the house it lists three incidents of 'Criminal damage with arson involved', on that street and two parallel ones! The other house I looked at, in an officially nice area ( now under offer anyway) but also it shows 6 burglaries all nearby and one on the street, in one month.
I can deal with a number of burglaries (can have a good alarm installed and there is no guarantee anywhere for that) and anti-social drunks, but arson attacks? Does police not doing anything when it appears that someone targets the area (several a month within a block!)? Do they actually mean arson thrown at houses and causing fire, or can it mean something very minor?
Has anyone lived to regret ignoring the general safety of the area? I have to add it looked perfectly peaceful to me in the daytime, not an obviously rough spot. No signs of fire anywhere but of course it must have been repaired.
Are there any defence measures against arson?

Silverfoxballs Sat 01-Mar-14 23:39:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Silverfoxballs Sat 01-Mar-14 23:44:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beaglesaresweet Sun 02-Mar-14 00:23:25

grin at the sheep being good citizens! thanks, Silver,
The thing is, I live miles away and can't casually drop by - even if I stayed in a hotel, one or two nights 'vigil' wouldn't give the full picture as it was 1 incident on the street in a month - but alarmed of same happening around. I will ask the vendors but they may be moving (as they said somewhere rural!) for this very reason.
In a way my point is, are all cities like that?
Why would people put bins on fire (idiots) - this could spread and cause serious problems if no one witnesses immediately. I also wonder how to check whether police patrol the streets enough to at least stop the worst.

NoForkNKnife Sun 02-Mar-14 00:30:34

I think be weary of these stats. I was mortified when I checked our postcode and street. I live in a cul de sac in a city. There are just 10 houses. We know each other etc.
The stats say that basically there are crimes happening pretty much every month! Some months more than one. These include burglary, robbery and sexual assault. All apparently within this cul de sac or 'nearby'.
I am fairly confident that if this was happening so regularly and to my neighbours I would know! I would love to know what 'nearby' means. And why the hell focus the bloody stat on my tiny little cul de sac!
Really pissed off as anyone buying will check this and I don't feel like we live in the area or syreet that this portrays.

Good luck with your house buying grin

starfish4 Sun 02-Mar-14 11:45:38

193 does seem like a lot. Is there anywhere in particular that gets the crime. The area surrounding our postcode is 77 for January, one was in our road for unsocial behaviour, but a lot were in the village centre and in the supermarket, being theft and unsocialable behaviour. We won't be moving far away, but that area is 69.

Places can go through phases where there are burglaries, so fingers crossed that's whats happening in the other area. Do you know many people locally in the area you're concerned about. Ask as many as possible how they feel, do they feel totally safe in their homes and to walk out at night.

Silverfoxballs Sun 02-Mar-14 13:00:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beaglesaresweet Sun 02-Mar-14 13:05:16

thanks NoFor. so were there no burglaries at all? You'd know of them if you know all the 10 houses. Strange that they pinpointed your cul de sac, unless it's a modern estate and this is in the centre of it, so by nearby they mean the whole estate? I think you could contact local police and ask why they aer doing it, and that it affects the value of your house - I wonder what would they say.

starfish, yes the majority of these 193 is well away from the house as the postcode is large and includes a bustling long shopping area with asian markets and other shops. The only reason I'm considering the house is that it's on the fringes of that not-very-nice area and that it's two min walk to a main road with buses and hotels. So on the edge of the postcode. But the actual criminal damage with arson (plus also some car damage and anti social) are more in the immediate vicinity, and the three damage with arson are on this street and parallel ones, 3 in a month. I just don't get it why police is not taking measures knowing it happens this often! So was there nothing in you street at all?

Yes, burglaries are inevitable, in fact in the nicer areas there's more to steal! but it could be because someone left windows open, etc - much more manageable than vandalism! The vendors there said it was very safe, and it did feel safe, no 'damage' recorded either. The edge of less nice area also feels absolutely fine in the day, but I don't know anyone living there (can only ask sellers), not even on MN as I've asked, they all live in nice suburbs grin. I'm just tempted by the size of the property you get for your money, but I think I'm coming to the conclusion that I'd rather go to a nice suburb to get more, or go for smaller but safer near centre (be it with a few burglaries).

MaryShelley Sun 02-Mar-14 13:10:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaryShelley Sun 02-Mar-14 13:12:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissRatty Sun 02-Mar-14 13:49:21

No, not necessarily. I work in the field so know a bit about the data, and theoretically there can be a number of reasons why the figues are high...the best thing to do is to contact a PCSO and ask them to explain.

For example, there could be a couple who regularly have domestics...this could cause a spike in assaults/asb etc., when there could have been 10 reported incidents from them or their neighbours. One crime could be recorded as a number of crimes...for example one incident where a drunken bloke damages three cars would be recorded as three separate criminal damage incidents, when it could be a one off. Also some crimes are opened as one thing, and closed as can ask what is used as I can't remember, but as an example, there's an elderly lady near here who has dementia and reports burglaries frequently but there hasn't been one...the call will be opened as burglary but closed as a non crime...I would think they'd use the closing codes as opposed to opening though.

Asb is a dodgy stat, as its not properly defined...what you consider as asb and what I consider as asb can be totally different. If you feel that something is inappropriate then it would be logged as asb. We get a lot of asb calls whch are only poor kiddies playing football in a street or some other nonsense that isn't what most would consider as asb, but it would have to be recorded as such due to its wide definition.

Also worth checking if you live near a police station...sometimesit can appear that there are loads of crimes near police stationsbut only because of reporting error where the locationof the report and not the incident has been entered...

Personally I'd look back at a few month's worthof the data, and then ask a PCSO about it...also, you can use insurance quotes to get an idea...just change the postcode for house insurance and car insurance and there will be a dfference related to crime in the area and a number of other factors too.

Its always good to visit an area at a number of different times, amd if you can, attend a local PACT meeting (where the police and council are present andlocals raise issues with them)...they are VERY informative!

MissRatty Sun 02-Mar-14 13:51:07

Also, some of the roughest areas may have low crime figures...e.g. An estate may be rife with crime but the nature of the community means that they do not report anything to the police due to mistrust, fear of retaliation its not as simple as it looks...

beaglesaresweet Sun 02-Mar-14 14:23:31

Mary, do you just e-mail them? I feel that phoning the police about this is a bit of a waste of their time. not sure what PCSO stands for but will look up.
Thanks MissRatty! I was hoping someone would respond who deals with the stats or who works for police. All useful info! What is your view on arson attacks - realistically what do they usually mean when tailed to 'crim damage' incidents. Is it normally just burning bins? <still think it's idiotic and dangerous> - how often do you now get arson damaging actual houses? will check location of police station too. Abs doesn't bother me much for the same reasons you've given!

beaglesaresweet Sun 02-Mar-14 14:24:44

meaning Asb

MaryShelley Sun 02-Mar-14 19:26:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Madmog Sun 02-Mar-14 20:11:01

As already suggested, it might be a good idea to visit area again and try and speak to local people. Another good time to visit an area is late on a Friday and Saturday night and see what type of people are around and how they are acting.

MissRatty Mon 03-Mar-14 09:09:14

Arson can be loads of different things, you'd only really know by asking the local PCSO. If you ring your police on their non emergency number they should be able to tell you who your local contact is, or have a look on their website. PACT meetings about the local area should also be on there as well as minutes from the last one...

beaglesaresweet Mon 03-Mar-14 21:45:45

thanks MissRatty, for the info on what to look up on sites.

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