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With High Inflation Comes Crime

It’s no secret that most people think the economy and crime are linked. Specifically, crime tends to increase during rough patches and decrease in better times.

There is a lot of economic uncertainty at the moment, and a recent article Reuters reports that crime has increased during every recession since the 1950s. The last recession (starting in December 2007) bucked the crime trend, but in general the crime rate has gone up during tough economic times.

Another metric might give a clearer view into crime rates: inflation. Times of high inflation have often predicted increases in commercial property crime – the kind our customers care about the most.

And there’s no question we are living in a time of high inflation with everything from gas to grocery prices skyrocketing in recent months. Businesses can’t afford to lose inventory to theft or vandalism at this time of high inflation – not to mention the ongoing supply chain issues still lingering as a result of the pandemic. 

A Larger Market Means More Stolen Goods

The inflation rate – the annual rate at which prices are increasing – has been more than 5% for over a year, and currently stands at more than 9%. This compares to “normal” inflation of about 2% per year.

site: https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/

The reasons behind inflation are complex, but the outcome for companies is simple: an increase in crime. This is thought to occur in part because an increase in the price of legitimate goods makes the purchase of stolen ones more attractive.

For example the price of lumber nearly tripled from the start of the pandemic, and while lumber was not considered a crime target on jobsites and lumberyards due to its bulky nature, it now is. This is only the beginning.

site: https://tradingeconomics.com/commodity/lumber

According to Bob Vila’s site, the price of everything from steel to tools have also gone way up. A recent article in Bloomberg cited how inflation has ramped up theft of precious metals, covering everything from copper to the precious metals in catalytic converters, putting nearly all vehicles at dealerships, used car lots, collision repair centers and beyond at an increased risk of theft.

The math is simple: if there is a larger market for stolen goods, there will likely be more theft. And today, that market ranges from traditional pawn shops to “modern” outlets like Facebook Marketplace, Amazon.com and even Craigslist where it’s hard to trace stolen goods.

For companies, this increases the likelihood they are in the crosshairs of would-be criminals. This is where Pro-Vigil makes them a much less-inviting target.

Our surveillance solutions range from fixed systems that make use of existing infrastructure, independent mobile solutions that are ideal for areas that can’t be covered by fixed systems, video monitoring services that make sure people aren’t at your place of business when they shouldn’t be, and more.

If you’d like to chat about how we can help protect your business during this time of economic uncertainty, contact us today.

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