Britain tops vandalism league

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The Independent Online
British households suffer the worst problems of crime and vandalism in the European Union, according to a survey published yesterday.

One in three families said crime and vandalism were a problem in their area compared with an EU-wide average of just one in five.

This was British households biggest complaint about where they live. Noise is the second most serious problem in Britain - cited by 22 per cent of households - followed by lack of space (21 per cent) and pollution (16 per cent).

Only Spain and France appear to face a similar problem with crime and vandalism, where a quarter of households complained about it. German and Greek households reported having the least trouble.

A fifth of British householders and a third of rent payers said they found it hard to pay the mortgage, taxes, heating and other housing costs.

Noise, from neighbours or the street, was the most common complaint across the EU - cited by 27 per cent of households - particularly in Spain, Italy and Germany

Irish householders seem to be the most contented of all with complaints below average in every area.

But 6 per cent had no hot running water, 5 per cent had no bathroom or shower and 4 per cent no inside toilet - problems virtually wiped out in Britain where just 1 per cent have no bathroom or shower.

The findings are based on a survey of 60,500 households in 1994 covering the 12 countries which were members of the European Union at the time.

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