Living in Lancashire wave 24

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Purpose This wave of the Life in Lancashire panel investigated panel members' perceptions of personal and vehicle safety, as well as looking at perceptions of crime and their priorities for the criminal justice system. Also what effect the economic downturn is having on Lancashire residents (if any), and looked into their priorities and level of confidence for the future.
Subject Crime and community safety
Quality of life
Economy and regeneration
Commissioned by Corporate Policy Unit
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - postal
Consultation with Life in Lancashire panel
Date 25/02/2009 - 03/04/2009
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Unit, Policy Unit


Number in sample 3097
Number of responses 2560
Response rate 82%
Key findings Perceptions of safety

* About nine in ten panel members feel safe when at home during the day and after dark, though there are significant falls in the proportions feeling very safe, compared with the same question in 2006. While only a minority feel safe when in their nearest town centre after dark, the proportion feeling very unsafe has fallen significantly compared with 2006.

* A third of respondents from a black or ethnic minority background answered that they were very worried about being harassed or intimidated because of their ethnic origin, while a quarter of BME respondents were very worried due to their skin colour and religion.

* Damage to vehicles and theft from vehicles are seen as the biggest vehicle crime problems. Joy-riding and vehicle theft are considered very or fairly big problems by one in eight and one in ten people respectively.

* Anti-social behaviour is the biggest cause of people feeling unsafe on public transport, with almost half of all respondents answering that it makes them a great deal or quite a lot unsafe.

* While most panel members think that crime levels nationally have increased, most panel members think that locally crime levels are about the same, though three in ten think it has increased. The most important crime and anti-social behaviour priorities for panel members' local areas are seen to be reducing anti-social behaviour, reducing drug taking and dealing followed by improving road safety and reducing theft and burglaries.

* Activities for teenagers and road and pavement repairs are seen as the most important things for improvement locally, though the third highest priority is for job prospects, which is ahead of the level of crime and clean streets. Job prospects are more likely to be mentioned as a priority by those in the youngest age group 16 to 24 years and those from socio-economic groups.

Lancashire's economy

* Almost three in five Lancashire residents say that they and their family are worse off compared to last year, with one person in five feeling much worse off. Only one person in ten considers themselves better off.

* Three-quarters of people are concerned about someone they know being made redundant or unemployed in the next 12 months. Seven in ten residents are concerned about their current financial situation, with a quarter very concerned.

* Amongst panel members who are currently employed, more than one person in three is concerned about being made redundant or unemployed in the next 12 months. Fulltime and part-time workers are equally likely to be concerned.
Employees from the more deprived C2 and DE socio-economic groups are more likely to be concerned than those from groups AB and C1.

* Panel members answer that they have recently reduced their spending in a wide variety of areas, particularly luxury items, eating out or takeaways and going out. One person in three answers that they have recently reduced spending on the essentials of household food and gas, electricity or heating. Reductions in spending on heating come despite the winter of 2008/9 being the coldest in more than ten years.

* In the next 12 months panel members are most likely to say they expect to reduce spending on Christmas or birthday presents, holidays abroad and gas, electricity or heating.

* From the same list, the main areas where people had spent more money than last year were on gas, electricity and heating, household food and travel and transport. This could possibly be because of higher prices or spending money differently for example (e.g. meals taken at home rather than meals out).
Outcomes ECONOMY
The survey results on the economy have been presented to the county council's senior management. They are helping them make plans on how to support people in Lancashire through the recession.

Lancashire County Council and its partners have come together to help Lancashire's residents and businesses find their way through the recession by launching the Find Your Way website ( The site acts as a directory of the services that the council and its partners provide that are relevant to the recession. For individuals, this can be anything from housing, benefits and debt advice to accessing free swimming sessions at the local pool and exploring Lancashire's countryside. For businesses, the site describes ways of getting financial support to grow or maintain a business, and provides links to sources of free business advice including about debt management.

Safer Lancashire is a county-wide community safety partnership working to keep Lancashire a place where people are safe.

In response to the survey:

Safer Lancashire identified vulnerable properties and conducted crime prevention assessments, providing home security kits where necessary.

Safer Lancashire developed an anti-social behaviour pledge outlining its commitment to take reports of anti-social behaviour seriously. It also launched a Facebook page where residents can tell Safer Lancashire what is good and bad in their neighbourhood

Safer Lancashire carried out a six week campaign to increase levels of confidence in communities by promoting key messages about anti-social behaviour, criminal justice, vulnerable people, quality of life issues, access and availability to neighbourhood policing teams and road safety.

Project document(s)



Marked up questionnaire(s)

Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Melissa Sherliker
01772 535019