Prices explain why London thieves target phones not TVs
The more expensive an item, the more likely it is to be targeted by thieves and stolen, a new report confirms.
The findings are based on an of analysis of monthly data over a 10-year period from the UK’s Metropolitan Police Service and the Office for National Statistics.
The report shows that the rise in the theft of goods such as mobile phones, bicycles, and jewelry, and the decline in audio equipment, TVs, and DVDs taken from properties in London is indeed closely linked to price.
The research indicates that a 10 percent increase in prices is associated with a 3.5 percent increase in crime—showing criminals are quick to react to the changing value of consumer goods.
Mirko Draca, a researcher from the University of Warwick who led the study, says the findings suggest that prices deserve serious further investigation as a main driver of crime across the UK.
“The evidence presented here for London indicates that a strong relationship between prices and crime exists across a full range of goods.
“Falls in the value of key, commonly stolen goods appear to have driven down the returns to property crime.”
The report also established that if criminals find it difficult or costly to adapt to and overcome technologies, such as Find My iPhone, this has the potential to kill off any theft incentives, as well as cost.
Source: University of Warwick