Police brace for surge in crime as cost of living crisis hits Britain this winter

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The concern comes after Ofgem raised the price cap on household bills by 80 percent to £3,549 beginning next month, and left nearly 88 percent of adults across Britain worried about gas and electricity costs. Meanwhile, Putin has indefinitely suspended gas supplies through Europe’s key pipeline route.

Officials have revealed Britain may be forced to buy back gas exported to Europe to keep the lights on this winter after giving away roughly 15 percent of its supplies.

Due to the UK’s lack of storage, supplies previously shipped to terminals in the UK and then piped abroad will have to be pumped back into the country as temperatures fall.

Large volumes of fuel have been sent to the European Union via the UK in recent months as countries struggle to fill up their storage sites after Russia limited supplies, according to The Telegraph.

According to the report, the police are preparing a contingency plan to deal with the fallout that could result from millions of households falling into financial difficulties.

The Times reported that a leaked national strategy paper, drawn up by police this summer, has revealed they are increasingly concerned that “economic turmoil and financial instability” has “potential to drive increases in particular crime types”.

The strategy paper, created with input from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, argues there is a “more complex and unpredictable risk” and “greater chance of civil unrest” as UK residents battle with soaring living costs.

The document reviewed by The Sunday Times, states that officials are concerned that ‘prolonged and painful economic pressure’ will lead to a spike in criminal activity.

In addition to crimes rooted in financial vulnerability, some police forces are preparing for more children to be sucked into drug gangs.

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Others worry that more women will become victims of sexual exploitation.

There is the added concern that those who are victims of domestic abuse will become less likely to report their partner due to an increased reliance on the other person.

“The cost of living crisis is going to add to the ability of abusers to manipulate and control people,” Merseyside police and crime commissioner Emily Spurrell said.

Last night Simon Foster, police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, said that he was deeply worried about the “knock-on impacts on crime”, adding: “I am particularly concerned that vulnerable young people will be at increased risk of becoming victims of crime and criminal exploitation as the cost of living crisis bites.

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