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London tops EU rankings for property crimes

London is western Europe's capital of property crimes such as car theft and burglary, as rising affluence serves as a magnet for thieves, a Gallup survey showed.

Some 32% of Londoners said they were victims of mostly theft-related crimes during 2004-05, more than in 17 other European capitals and higher than New York's 23% victim rate, according to a Gallup Europe survey. „London leads the dubious list,” Robert Manchin, head of Gallup's Brussels office, told a press conference yesterday.
Central London also tops the European Union prosperity rankings, buoyed by UK economic growth that has surpassed the European average since 2001. Amsterdam, Dublin, Belfast and Copenhagen followed London in what the researchers called „common crime” such as car theft, pickpocketing, burglary and including threatened assaults and „offensive behavior.” Higher robbery rates in Europe's wealthier cities are „the downside of something which is positive,” said Jan van Dijk, a University of Tilburg professor involved in the survey.
Gallup polled 2,000 people in 15 western and three eastern European countries in early 2005, a sampling Manchin said was big enough to be representative. Not all crime victims talk candidly of their experiences, Gallup said, without giving a numerical margin of error. The United Nations Interregional Criminal Justice Research Institute, the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law and CEPS/Instead helped conduct the survey, which was partly financed by the European Commission. (Bloomberg)