To feel safe within our homes and bodies is necessary and a human right. How safe we feel has a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. So how do we actually feel about our safety, and what are we doing about it?
Perception of Local vs National Crime Matters
Data from the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) tells us that we tend to think that crime rates are higher in our country at large than they are within our own communities. Our perceptions of national crime are largely determined by news and social media, whilst our views on local crime are determined by word of mouth. Many of our members have based their feelings of safety in their own communities on an experience, or one about which they heard by word of mouth. “A couple in our town were watching TV when someone came in their back door,stole a handbag and they didn't know until they went into the kitchen, so yes I lock my door when I am in.” -patny
On the opposite side of the safety spectrum, there are many people who continue to hold trust in their communities, and would not change that for anything. This includes around 20% of our members, who either do not lock their door when they’re at home or do not lock their doors at all. Members like phoebe comment, “maybe I should, but [I] don’t.” Who Still Leaves Their Door Unlocked?
While over 80% of our members do lock their doors when at home, many of these members seem to want to be able to keep their doors unlocked. Justjayne01 tells us, “Always... If I had one of those electronic warning bleeps I wouldn't, but you never know who's about these days. I do have two Jack Russells mind you, who bark at the slightest noise, so maybe I should just leave it unlocked…”
So, we want to feel trust in those around us, but for many of us, this is not a practical reality right now. What do we do about it and how do we change this for our futures?
Should we use home security?
What about home insurance?
- 10 Reasons to Buy Homeowners Insurance
- 6 Good Reasons To Get Renter’s Insurance
- Home Owners Are Shopping Around For Insurance, But Few Can Find A Cheaper Deal
- What’s Happening In Home Insurance Pricing?
Community Building? (Short term and long-term solutions!)
- Empowering Communities: Making the Most of Local Assets
- Why Buy Local? -Sustainable Connections
Becoming Active Community Members
Looking to those around us for inspiration
Joining your local Neighbourhood Watch Group (cheesy, I know, but also quite useful!)
Using local, community banks
What is the best means of protection?
We can look to one of the simplest lessons that many of us have been taught since childhood: taking care of our neighbours. If we would like to feel trust in our communities, we need to show that these spaces can be trusted, that we will put our best foot forward to help lift others up. It has been shown that “...burglary is driven by a lack of resources,” that in reducing poverty rates, we effectively reduce the need for crimes such as burglary. This is an opportunity for each of us to show that a feeling of community is of value to us.
Reducing poverty and making our world a better, safer place is a massive, overwhelming, and ongoing goal for all of society, however, each seemingly tiny decision we make has an impact. There are infinite community building and community action pathways that each of us can involve ourselves in!
Start where you are, with what you can do. Be patient and have faith that every small act done in goodness changes the whole world, tiny bit by tiny bit.
- “It has been proven, less inequality means less crime” -The World Bank
- Raise the Minimum Wage, Reduce Crime?
- Poverty and Crime: Breaking the Vicious Cycle
Share your experiences and feelings on safety and community in the comments below!