Property-level flood information

How can homeowners and small businesses persuade insurers to consider all the relevant facts about their flood risk and history?

Does fewer police really mean more crime?

Forces in England and Wales plan a 10% reduction in officers but the impacts are uncertain.

Extreme weather events and corporate responsibility

What is the risk that companies operating in high-carbon industries might in future be held liability for the costs of extreme weather events?

UK tsunami risk

An overview of the evidence.

Theft of non-ferrous metals

The market price of copper presents an economic threat to UK infrastructure.

15 Jun 2011

Extreme weather events and corporate financial responsibility

Research published this week by the Carbon Trust found that only 60% of companies in the FTSE 100 have set themselves clear targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.  At the same time there is increasing alarm at the recent frequency and severity of extreme weather events occurring around the world.  It is now common to speculate on the link between extreme weather and human contributions to climate change.

What is the risk that companies operating in high-carbon industries might one day be held financially responsible for part of the costs of large weather events such as floods and windstorms, and what does this mean for their investors and liability insurers?

13 Jun 2011

Theft of non-ferrous metals

Based on recent figures from the British Transport Police crime on Britain's railways has fallen year on year -- with one significant exception.  Theft of property on the railway network has continued to rise, mainly due to a 70% increase in cable theft.

Underlying this increase is a booming trade in stolen non-ferrous metals, driven by the demands of growth in China and market speculation on the price of recycled copper and similar materials.  The British Transport Police have previously described metal theft as their next biggest priority after combating terrorism.

11 Jun 2011

Crime in England and Wales

A review of the way crime statistics are compiled and presented in England and Wales, published last week by the National Statistician Jil Matheson, provides a good analysis of the reasons why crime trends are poorly understood by the general public.  However it is highly doubtful whether the recommendations in the report will do much to reduce the amount of conflicting information circulated by politicians and the media.

10 Jun 2011

Tremors in Lancashire

The recent seismic events near Blackpool in Lancashire, while at very low orders of magnitude, have drawn a substantial amount of public attention to the risks and controversy associated with onshore drilling for shale gas.  The operations of Cuadrilla Resources, a company that has been making relatively low-profile investigations into shale gas potential in the UK since 2007, are now under the spotlight.