Homeowners are turning a blind eye to vandalism and garden theft 'because they fear online crime maps will damage property prices'
- Homeowners failing to report crimes over fear of lowering property prices
- Report found minor crimes such as vandalism and garden theft not logged
- One in 12 Britons fear reporting such crimes will cause house price to drop
- It comes as more than half of prospective homebuyers study crime maps
By Emma Glanfield for MailOnline
Homeowners are failing to report minor crimes such as vandalism and garden theft over fears higher crime rates will damage the value of their property, a study has found.
Half of all property owners in the UK have been the victim of a minor crime, but at least two thirds have chosen not to report the matter to police.
At least one in 12 homeowners said their reason behind not reporting the incident was because they fear it could affect local house prices, the survey by property maintenance firm Aspect.co.uk found.
Homeowners are failing to report minor crimes such as vandalism and garden theft over fears higher crime rates will damage the value of their property, a study by property maintenance firm Aspect found (file picture)
It comes as potential buyers continue to pay increased attention to official crime statistics, with police now mapping every recorded incident online.
It is believed that more than half of prospective homebuyers and tenants now check crime statistics in an area they are moving to and almost two thirds would not buy or rent in an area with an above-average crime rate.
Will Davies, from Aspect.co.uk, said: 'People want to protect the value of their property and that means victims of minor burglaries are simply not reporting them to police.'
Last year, a study found that as many as five million Britons would be put off reporting crime in their area over fears it could hit their house price.
Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line home insurance, said: 'It is alarming that crime may go unreported because people are fearful of affecting the price of their property, as it will mean these crimes will not be investigated, potentially leaving criminals free to strike again.
It is believed that more than half of prospective homebuyers and tenants now check crime statistics in an area they are moving to and almost two thirds would not buy or rent in an area with an above-average crime rate
'With the housing market on the up, homeowners are concerned about doing anything that could prevent a potential property sale or rental and unfortunately that can include turning a blind eye to crime.'
Official figures from the Crime Survey of England and Wales show crime rates dropped by seven per cent last year to 6.9million incidents - the lowest level since 1981.
The survey, which looks at people's experiences of crimes, includes incidents not reported to police.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the data showed 'police reform is working' and that crime 'has never been lower, meaning families are safer'.