Rising energy costs may lead to increase in crime

The rising cost of energy could lead to an increase in crime according to the Notts Police Authority chairman.

Coun John Clarke is concerned that worries about increasing energy bills may cause people to turn off their burglar alarms.

He added that this is most likely to affect the poorer and more vulnerable people.

Mr Clarke said: "Guidance on protecting your home includes the installation of outside lighting or intruder lighting, timer-switches to turn on lights and radios when you are out.

"People trying to reduce their energy bills may be worried about the cost of running such simple and effective deterrents and stop using them.

"How long will it be before local authorities have to limit the amount of street lighting due to cost?

"This could lead to an increase in violence or robbery and we all know that well-lit areas tend to have lower crime rates. I intend to ask our local MPs to see if help can be made available to people most affected."

Mr Clarke's warning comes after a Government report predicted that "gas and electricity bills for domestic consumers will rise significantly in the near future."

He added: "I'm also concerned that the rising costs will tempt more people into committing crime."