'Concern' that cost of living crisis could lead to crime increase

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, urged people to act responsibly

Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore said there is a concern that crime could rise as a result of the cost of living crisis - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The cost of living crisis presents a risk of increased crime levels in Suffolk, according to the county's police and crime commissioner. 

Tim Passmore said there is a concern that crime could go up, but urged people to "show compassion" for others as the country faces the biggest drop in living standards for 70 years. 

"I've always maintained that there is a link between higher levels of deprivation and hardship and increased incidences of crime, addiction, abuse and anti-social behaviour," Mr Passmore said. 

"With the cost of living crisis, it's painful for people so there is a concern. There have been examples of heating oil thefts and so on, and although I haven't heard of any here, there have been reports of people siphoning fuel, that type of thing. 

"So of course, it's a concern for everybody."

Mr Passmore's comments come after a former Metropolitan Police chief superintendent voiced concerns about the cost of living crisis leading to increased youth violence. 

Speaking to The Independent, Dal Babu said there was a danger that food and hunger issues could be used to snare young people into situations where they are in debt to gangs. 

Most Read

He warned of young people being targeted or groomed online or directly outside schools. 

Police officers who have been at the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic are being punished, Mr Harris said Picture...

Experts have warned that the cost of living crisis could lead to increased youth violence - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Asked about the risk of gangs grooming youngsters, Mr Passmore said: "It's an ongoing risk, not just because of the cost of living difficulties but it is certainly something we are well aware of.

"It's such a despicable crime, gangs grooming youngsters, be it for drugs or whatever else. 

"We have to do everything we can to ensure that youngsters don't get into that situation. We all have a responsibility for that of course, not just policing but other agencies as well."

He added: "Sadly, when things do become more difficult, there is a greater risk. I don't think there's any doubt about that so we're going to have to work extremely hard as a society here in Suffolk to look after those who might be in that position and do what we can to help. 

"I'd say to people, 'think about other people'. Do have some compassion and care for others and see what can be done."