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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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UK Neighbourhoods In Decline

Press release: 26/11/2008

  • A new report(1) from home insurer LV= reveals that one in three people in the UK (33%) believe their neighbourhood has declined since they moved to the area.

  • A quarter of people said that want to move out of their neighbourhood, with less than one in ten saying they would like it to remain 'as it is'.

  • One in three (32%) people say they have seen a rise in street crime in their area, with just 8% saying they have seen a drop in street crime over the last five years.

  • More than a quarter of people (28%) say they feel unsafe walking in their neighbourhood at night.

  • Under one in five (19%) of people across the UK believe they have a good quality National Health Service (NHS) in their local area.

  • On average people in the UK know 14 neighbours by sight and just nine by name.


A new report(1), commissioned by home insurer LV= has revealed that one in three (33%) people across the UK say their neighbourhood has got worse since they moved there – and this rises to 50% of people living in the South.

A quarter (24%) of people in the UK say they would like to leave the area they live in and move elsewhere, with less than one in ten people wanting to keep their neighbourhood exactly as it is.

The 'UK Neighbourhoods Report', commissioned amongst more than 4,000 home owners and home renters in the UK paints a bleak picture of the declining standards of neighbourhoods in the UK. People say that compared to five years ago, they feel less safe, local amenities and services have deteriorated, plus they have a growing fear of becoming a victim of street crime.

Street Crime

The report revealed that the concept for most people of an ideal neighbourhood is one where they can live a quiet life free from the threat of crime and anti-social behaviour. However, one in three people (32%) in the UK said they feel they have seen an increase in street crime in their neighbourhood, with only 8% of people saying they have seen a drop over the last five years. This had led to more than one in four people (28%) saying they feel unsafe walking in their neighbourhood at night.

The problem is most pronounced in the capital, with 42% of people who live there saying they feel there has been an increase in street crime, and 12% feeling that crime has increased 'a lot' in their area – twice as much as in other regions.

Crime Prevention

The report has also highlighted that policing and crime prevention are largely seen as just 'average' in most areas throughout the country, with a further quarter (23%) of people stating that they felt crime prevention in their area was poor.

Recently the Government announced that crime prevention and neighbourhood safety would be taken more seriously, with Communities Minister Baroness Andrews announcing a £500 million plan to revive deprived communities across the country(2), with the aim of cutting crime levels, improving educational achievements and boosting job opportunities. Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has also recently called on councils to work closely with their residents to unearth new and innovative ideas to improve their local area, and make places in which people want to live, work and raise a family.(2)


John O'Roarke, Managing Director of LV= Home Insurance, said:

"This report shows that a large number of people throughout the country are not happy with the area they live in, and although there are many reasons for this, part of this is because of the apparent rise in street crime over the years. It is only natural for people to feel they should be able to rely on the police and crime prevention measures to make them feel secure, but most people see standards largely as 'average', with a further quarter saying they actually regard it as poor.

"This paints a bleak picture of how large parts of society view their local areas, so given this the announcement by the Government to inject £500 million into certain areas to help tackle street crime, is much needed."

Council Tax and the NHS

The most popular thing that people in the UK want to change about their neighbourhood is the level of council tax they pay, with four out of ten people (40%) saying this is the biggest issue for them.

The National Health Service (NHS) has been voted the worst of all local facilities. The report revealed that just 19% of people believe they have a good quality NHS service in their area, compared with double the amount of people (38%) who rate their local transport links at the same level.

John O'Roarke, continued:

"Council tax has never been the most popular of bills but the fact that so many people are unhappy with the level they are paying can probably be linked back to the fact that people generally appear to believe that their local services need a lot of improvements made.

"It's all too easy to say that if people are that unhappy with their neighbourhood, then they should move to somewhere else but with the current housing market decline and credit crunch, it's a difficult period for those who are aiming to sell their homes or move on. The Government has announced a number of steps to tackle neighbourhood concerns, but only time will tell if they are enough."



  1. The research used to compile the 'UK Neighbourhoods Report' was conducted by Opinium Research amongst 4,022 adults between 14th – 20th May 2008. Analysis and report has been compiled by Perspectives Marketing Insight and is available upon request.

  2. Announcement by the government to inject £500 million into UK neighbourhoods on 1st July 2008

    Announcement by Secretary Hazel Blears has recently called on councils to work closely with their residents on 14 October 2008.


About LV=

  • LV= offers car, home, travel and pet insurance direct to consumers by telephone from its UK call centres in Bournemouth and Croydon and online from its website:

  • LV= has been awarded the Defaqto five star rating for home insurance and car insurance.

  • LV= is a trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and LV= is a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. The new LV= brand identity was launched in March 2007.