Following the riots in England, concern about crime and anti-social behaviour increases to highest level in two years
Concern about the economy also increases following economic turmoil in the US and the Eurozone
The August Economist/Ipsos Issues Index shows that concern about crime has increased by 14 percentage points since July; three in ten (31%) place it amongst the most important issues facing Britain. Fieldwork for this survey started on Friday 5th August, the day before the riots in Tottenham, and finished on Thursday 11th August. Those who are more likely to be concerned about crime include those in urban areas (34%), and particularly in London (37%), as well as those aged 55+ (35%) and Conservative voters (36%).
This is the highest concern about crime since August 2009 and the biggest month-on-month increase since August 2007, when it peaked at 55% following the murder of Rhys Jones and Garry Newlove. However, concern has been gradually declining over the last few years and despite the big increase this month fewer are now concerned about crime than throughout 2008.
The most important issue facing the country remains the economy (61%), however, which has also increased this month by four percentage points following concerns about sovereign debt in the US and Europe.
A quarter of the public (26%) is concerned about unemployment, rising to 31% of those aged 18-34, 33% of Londoners, and 43% of respondents from minority ethnic backgrounds.
A similar percentage (23%) are concerned about race relations/immigration, an issue that has fallen 8 percentage points since June.
By contrast, only 1% place the phone hacking scandal amongst the most important issues facing the country.
Ipsos's Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of 956 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The questions are spontaneous - i.e. respondents are not prompted with any answers. Ipsos's Capibus vehicle was used for this survey. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home between 5th- 11th August 2011 at 156 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.