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Last Updated: Friday, 15 September 2006, 02:34 GMT 03:34 UK
'Yob culture' tops crime worries
Northumbria Police image to support 2005 campaign against yobs
Anti-social behaviour was said to be founding crime fears
Britons worry about so-called yob culture far more than violent crime, vandalism or burglary, a survey says.

Anti-social behaviour was said to be a concern for 23% of those polled in July this year, up from 18% in January.

About one in three had witnessed an incident with a similar number feeling declining morals were to blame.

Identity theft - cited by 9% - was the next greatest fear. Some 5,294 people were questioned by YouGov for Legal & General insurers.

Legal & General's Safety Uncovered Index tracks Britons' perceptions of safety by asking them to list crimes that had caused them the most concern.

Observational factors

More than half of those surveyed for Legal & General said they had worried about crime in the three months to July.

"Despite official figures suggesting crime is on the decrease, our research shows people still clearly feel we live in an increasingly unsafe environment," said Legal & General technical service manager Elaine Parkes.

Anti-social behaviour: 23%
Identity theft: 9%
Violent crime: 6%
Car vandalism : 6%
Local vandalism: 3%
Burglary: 3%
Property vandalism: 2%

"It appears to be a growing yob culture upon which they're founding their fears."

The poll results indicate observational factors such as a perceived lack of policing or a neighbourhood watch were influencing attitudes.

Some 34% said they felt unsafe due to a lack of police presence, up from 32% in January.

According to the poll, the top concerns after anti-social behaviour and identity theft were violent crime (6%); car vandalism (6%); neighbourhood vandalism (3%); burglary (3%); property vandalism (2%); bag theft (2%); car theft (1%) and crime while abroad (1%).

The survey took in 11 areas across England, Wales and Scotland.

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