Benefit cuts will lead to rise in crime

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The Independent Online
Benefit cuts will lead to a rise in crime as those living below the poverty line are tempted to steal to survive, probation officers warn today, writes Heather Mills.

In a letter urging Mr Lilley to resist benefit cuts for the unemployed and those on income support, the National Association for Probation Officers says that about 80 per cent of the 287,000 offenders it supervises are solely reliant upon benefit.

A study undertaken by the association of 1,331 probation clients found two-thirds were either long-term unemployed or too sick to work and half faced chronic debt on hire purchase agreements, social security loans or fuel and water bills. Their offences were mainly theft, handling stolen goods and burglary.