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This month on the DMA Law blog we are looking at crime and personal security. Two forthcoming blogs will look at domestic security, identity theft, security while out and about, property and gadget theft and car theft. A subsequent blog will analyse online payment security, cashpoint use and credit card protection.

In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the latest statistics around crime across the UK.

When looking at crime statistics, it is important to maintain the right balance: the numbers can sometimes look high, but we must remember that we are fortunate to live in a country where crime is genuinely rare. We must not be frightened by the statistics, or let them worry us.

A Government survey in 2015 showed that 19% of UK adults believed it was ‘very likely’ or ‘fairly likely’ that they would be a victim of crime in the subsequent 12 months. Plus, there is no doubt about the psychological impact that being a victim of crime can have on people: victims of crime report significantly lower levels of personal well-being, happiness and life satisfaction.

However, crime does still occur, so we should keep the figures in mind to avoid complacency and to make sure that we take the right precautions against crime.

Ideally, we will be vigilant and take care with our homes and property, without letting the fear of crime dominate our thoughts.

February is, statistically, the month of the year in which the fewest crimes are committed, which is great news, but it means that as we move into the warmer months, crime rates are going to increase, so we need to be aware of that and make sure we take measures where possible to prevent it from happening.

Crime is sometimes unavoidable, but because many criminals are opportunists, they will take an opportunity only if they are presented with one. This means that it is essential to keep doors and windows locked, alarms on when possible, bikes and cars locked, handbags closed… and so on.

Our forthcoming blogs will look at two of the fastest-growing areas of crime in 2016: property and identity theft, and online financial/payment fraud.

Nationally, by far the highest number of crimes committed are classed as Anti-Social Behaviour, which peaks in the summer and which has almost double the number (1,732,532) of recorded incidents of the next highest-reported crime.

Violent crime is the next highest on the list, which 963,650 recorded incidents in 2015, followed by criminal damage and arson, with 503,033 incidents.

Only one North East location is in the top 50 worst neighbourhoods for crime in the UK: Newcastle city centre, with 1,216 crimes in December 2015 alone. The highest in the country is the centre of Manchester, with 1,776 in December 2015.

On a more local level, according to postcode districts, the Newcastle areas NE1 and NE4, Middlesbrough’s TS1 and TS3, TS18 in Stockton on Tees, the TS10 Redcar area, DL14 Co Durham, TS24 Hartlepool, and the DL1 Darlington area make it into the top 200 by postcode.