Residents perceive theft to be the most common crime in their own area

About a quarter of residents polled on what they believe is the most typical misdemeanour or felony in their local residential area believed theft topped the list.

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ABU DHABI // Theft is perceived to be the most common type of crime – particularly in the Northern Emirates.

About a quarter (24 per cent) of residents polled on what they believe was the most typical misdemeanour or felony in their local residential area believed theft topped the list.

This was consistent across all emirates and especially true in Sharjah.

Of the 1,008 residents polled, 161 lived in the emirate and 32 per cent believed theft was the biggest crime in their area. This was followed by sexual assault and robbery.

Similarly, 24 per cent of those living in Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Fujairah also believed theft was the most prevalent crime in their neighbourhood.

“I am from India and the kind of crime we have in our country is very different to the kind of crime you get here in the UAE,” said Souvik Guha, a 47-year-old expatriate who has been a theft victim.

“I have been here for more than 12 years. So having lived here, I think the kind of crime you get here is petty crime. It is petty but is still breaking the law of the land.

“Where I live in Sharjah, if you leave your car unlocked or you leave you laptop behind then you are leaving yourself vulnerable.

“One thing that happened to me locally was my car door was broken open and the glass was broken and I had my laptop stolen. That sort of thing does happen.”

According to a United Nations Criminal Justice Information Network study looking at 25 years of collected crime data, theft was the most common reported crime in the world.

The YouGov study asked residents what they perceived to be the most relevant crimes in their local area.

After theft, sexual assault, domestic violence and robbery were perceived to be the next most common crimes.

Women believed burglary and domestic violence were a bigger problem than with the male respondents.

Men, however, thought theft and sexual assault were more prevalent.

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