LV= reports UK neighbourhoods are in decline

From: LV=
Published: Wed Dec 03 2008

LV=, the UK insurance company, has commissioned a new report that has revealed that UK neighbourhoods appear to be in decline, with one in three people (33%) believing that their neighbourhood has gotten worse since they moved to the area. Moreover, a quarter of people said that they would like to move out of their neighbourhood, with less than one in ten saying that they would like it to remain 'as it is'.

The 'UK Neighbourhoods Report' from LV, commissioned amongst more than 4000 home owners and home renters in the UK, paints a bleak picture of the declining standards of neighbourhoods in the UK. People say that compared to five years ago, they feel less safe, that local amenities and services have deteriorated, plus they have a growing fear of becoming a victim of street crime.

The report revealed that for most people, the concept of an ideal neighbourhood is one where they can live a quiet life free from the threat of street crime and anti-social behaviour. However, one in three people (32%) in the UK said that they feel they have seen an increase in street crime in their neighbourhood, with only 8% of people saying they have seen a drop over the last five years. This led to one in four people (28%) saying they feel unsafe walking in their neighbourhood at night.

Recently the Government announced that crime prevention and neighbourhood safety would be taken more seriously, with Communities Minister Baroness Andrews announcing a £500 million plan to revive deprived communities across the country, with the aim of cutting crime levels, improving educational achievements and boosting job opportunities.

John 'O Roarke, managing director of LV Home Insurance, said: "This report shows that a large number of people throughout the country are not happy with the area they live in and, although there are many reasons for this, part of this is because of the apparent rise in street crime over the years. It is only natural for people to feel they should be able to rely on the police and crime prevention measures to make them feel secure but most people see standards largely as 'average', with a further quarter saying they actually regard it as poor.

"This paints a bleak picture of how large parts of society view their local areas, so this announcement by the Government to inject £500 million into certain areas to help tackle street crime is much needed."

According to the report from the home insurer, the most popular thing that people in the UK want to change about their neighbourhood is the level of council tax they pay, with four out of ten people (40%) saying this is the biggest issue for them.

John 'O Roarke continued: "Council tax has never been the most popular of bills but the fact that so many people are unhappy with the level they are paying can probably be linked back to the fact that people generally appear to believe that their local services need a lot of improvements made.

"It's all too easy to say that if people are that unhappy with their neighbourhood, then they should move to somewhere else but with the current housing market decline and the credit crunch, it's a difficult period for those who are aiming to sell their homes or move on. The Government has announced a number of steps to tackle neighbourhood concerns but only time will tell if they are enough."

About LV=
LV= offers car insurance, home insurance and travel and pet insurance direct to consumers by telephone from its UK call centres in Bournemouth and Croydon and online.

LV= is a trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and LV= is a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

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Emma Holyer
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0208 256 6714
Company: LV=
Contact Name: Emma Holyer
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