If you want to know the time, ask a policeman. Don’t bother asking them to attend a burglary though, if plans go ahead to stop attending them. Apparently it’s part of an effort to ‘prioritise’. It’s an interesting move at a time when clearly Osborne’s budget has reduced the income of many quite sharply. I think it’s a pre-emptive move to not have the police’s box-ticking start telling a story where crime stats are rising rather than falling.
My own experience of the police is through a mobile phone theft on Oxford Street, deftly done from my trouser pocket as I was walking along, by a pickpocket who ran past me. I barely felt a thing, but gave chase only to see them disappear round a corner. I recorded the crime online and the record duly disappeared. I guess that’s not in the stats then.
Another time, I saw a man being kicked unconscious outside the flat where I was living in Ealing. It was in the small hours of Sunday morning. I called for an ambulance and police. Neither showed. The man eventually recovered consciousness and stumbled off several hours later, just his blood remaining on the pavement. I had photographed the victim lying there and sent it to the local press. They printed the story. In a statement the local force said there was a mix up and they thought they’d already attended, and anyway they’d been really busy. No idea what happened to the ambulance. The local greengrocer, arriving around 4am, had also phoned them, and like me had called again to say they still hadn’t arrived. So evidently that was a little porky pie. I guess that didn’t show up in the statistics either.
The Met Police famously didn’t turn up at the Hatton Garden robbery earlier this year. Of course they have to make choices on the fly, but they do seem to be somewhat stretched. That said, they do a fairly thankless and difficult job, and in many instances do it quite well. They might be better able to do their job if drugs were decriminalised, the first effect of which would be to reduce crime in an instant. It’s already working successfully in Portugal by the way.
Anyway, given that’s not going to happen any time soon, brace yourself for a rise in crime.
It’s hard to find a security company that you can invest in. The famous brands are either private or foreign owned subsidiaries now. So next in line must be shorting insurance companies.
The stand out chart there is Hiscox. There’ve been a couple of moves up followed by big gaps down in response. That’s a good sign of weakness. Then we have what looks very much like a head and shoulders, which if we see a move down from here is pretty much in the bag. All of that I’ve marked on the daily chart – it’s a bit busy being daily but the gaps don’t show on the weekly.
Hiscox offers a diverse portfolio of non-life products. They look fairly likely to take a hit as the rise in theft related crime occurs. It’s certainly the weakest looking chart in their part of the insurance sector.
Nice little double-whammy: Hiscox offers flood insurance. Whatever your stance on climate change, thesre one thing that is not a debate but pure science: as temperatures rise, rainfall increases. Temperatures are rising, rainfall is increasing and therefore the risk of flood. These are only two of
the risks they cover, but insurance is all about anticipating risk and effectively hedging against it. This is a fairly major change which I’m not sure they will have seen coming. Add to that, if so many families are poorer, then gross insurance premiums are likely to drop as well. Worth keeping an eye on the sector and developments.