What makes somewhere “safe” to live

With crime rates in the UK increasing by around 8% each year, many of us are looking to find somewhere safe to live. Whether you’re renting or looking to buy a property while house prices fall, we’ve rounded up what to look for if you’re hunting for a place to live that’s deemed ‘safe’.

Crime rates and law enforcement

The correlation between crime rates and perceived safety is complicated. Perceived safety usually refers to your individual feeling of security in a certain environment, whereas crime rates are usually objectively measured by the number of reported crimes in a given area. While the concepts are intertwined, it’s important to note that they’re not the same.

When thinking about somewhere safe to live, we’re often referring to somewhere where perceived safety is great. Crime rates might be high but if you feel safe, this is the most important factor. Many law enforcement agencies are putting more officers and policing initiatives in place to improve the perceived safety in many areas that haven’t always been regarded as ‘safe’.

That being said, it’s a good idea to check crime rates before you move into a new property to make sure you’re not moving into a hotspot for knife crime or robberies.

Infrastructure and urban planning

While it’s easy to overlook the neighbourhood’s infrastructure, the way a suburb is designed can make a huge impact when it comes to safety. For example, street lighting, footpaths and transportation systems can all contribute to the overall feeling of safety when wandering around your local neighbourhood.

Environmental considerations

It’s not just other humans that can threaten how safe you feel in your home. Environmental factors can have a huge impact on your perceived safety. For example, things like natural disasters, climate-related risks and pollution can all impact the safety of a property.

The local community

A strong community bond and a sense of belonging significantly contribute to the perceived safety of a certain neighbourhood.

When you move to a place with strong community ties, a sense of solidarity and a culture of watchfulness, this sense of mutual respect can help you feel safe when you’re at home. However, even if your community bond is strong, home insurance is vital no matter where you are.

Final thoughts…

As crime rates continue to rise in the UK, finding a safe place to live is more important than ever.

While crime rates and law enforcement efforts play a significant role in shaping perceptions of safety, it’s essential to recognise the nuanced relationship between reported crime statistics and individual feelings of security. However, by choosing somewhere with reasonable crime rates, good urban infrastructure and a strong local community, you can feel safe in your next home – wherever that may be.

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