It is common knowledge among law enforcement that when the economy takes a downturn, the number of break-ins rises. As the current recession drags on, many law enforcement agencies are reminding people that they need to be sure to protect their homes and families and are recommending the best home alarm systems that you can afford.
According to a story in the Gainesville Times, as the economy gets worse, a new class of burglar has developed:
In Gainesville, residential and business burglaries in the first eight months of 2009 are up 24 percent from the same period last year, a total of 211 through Aug. 31. Hall County, with a much larger overall population, saw a 40 percent increase in burglaries in the first six months of 2009 versus the first half of 2008, with 400 through June 31.
The slumping economy and a local unemployment rate approaching double digits has created a new class of criminal, officials say.
“A lot of our burglaries in the past were committed by drug users,” Hall County Sheriff’s Col. Jeff Strickland said. “Now we’re seeing out-of-work people who are committing thefts just to survive.”
Said Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper, “I think we have some folks who have been driven to criminal activity out of desperation.”
The increase in property crimes is no surprise to those in law enforcement. Police and sheriff’s officials predicted more crime was coming as the economy took a nosedive late last year.
“There’s a very clear connection between economic downturns and an upturn in the crime rate,” said Dean Rojek, a professor of sociology at the University of Georgia and an expert on crime trends.
Rojek said there is typically a “natural delay” between the onset of a recession and an increase in crime.
“Many people have a buffer and can cope for six months to a year, but then they get to that level of desperation,” Rojek said. “They have no options, they have to live, and they start cutting corners.”
If you live in Gainesville – or anywhere else for that matter, it is a good idea to find the best Florida home alarm system company that you can find and have them install a home alarm system for you. One nice thing about a home alarm, it will protect you no matter who the burglar is.