Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Crime Maps...

So new crime maps were released yesterday that give the general public statistics and insight into where crimes are committed in the UK. We, the public, can enter a post code or street name and find out how many crimes have been committed in that area.

People are raving about how great this will be as it will empower communities to hold the police accountable and enable communities to work with the police and deal with crime at a grass root level.
Apparently this is a part of the 'Big Society'...

I have to say that I am extremely wary and disturbed by this.

What I think this will do is further the fear, paranoia and segregation of our communities that has been increasing over the last 20 years. Crime maps are not and will not be the only cause of this, but they will increase these things happening. They are a consequence of the fear and segregation that already exists in our communities.

People will look on the crime maps, see how much crime is in their area and become more fearful about where they live. In turn it will create fear of 'the other', fear of strangers and a fear of where they live.

It will create paranoia about your home and where you live.

It will cause people to take matters into their own hands and deal with crime outside of the police.

It will also create ghetto's. So the rich will have the power to move out of an area that 'appears' to have a high crime rate. So we will have ever more exclusive communities where the rich live and dwell.
The poor will be powerless to do anything about it.
Those in poverty will find their situation even worse than now.

This is a bad idea.

I might sound a bit extremist, but I think crime maps are an example of where society has been heading for some time now.

The church needs to respond well. We need to be creating space for people to be loved, welcomed and accepted. We need to be creating space where people are not 'demonised' or made to live in fear. We need to be creating opportunity for people to be themselves and be loved.
The church needs to GO into their communities to look for ways in which groups can find unity, peace and reconciliation.
The church needs to GO into their communities and find ways to help the powerless and abused.
The church has a responsibility to address the fear by providing faith.
The church has a responsibility to create trust instead of paranoia.
The church has a responsibility to provide a safe space where all are welcome.

How will we respond?


Tom Haward said...

Oh dear. Yet another way to scare people. I'm surprised anyone leaves their house.

Let me guess, the Daily Mail thinks it's a brilliant idea.

Maybe, as a nation, we don't know how to relax and be at ease with life.

Carl said...

Totally agree - yet another way to play on people's fears! What we really need in society is a positive message of hope instead of despair, freedom instead of bondage, unity instead of segregation...hmmm, where would one find such a message ?!

Joe Haward said...

I'm sure the Daily Mail do love it. They love a bit of fear!

I wonder Carl... :0)

Tom Haward said...

Well it's spreading (fear, that is) as I'm seeing people on Facebook posting crime statistics on their profiles...

jesus' message does seem very much about freedom. Not sure it's about unity though? Being an extremely counter-cultural movement, surely an effective reflection of the Gospel is how many people in establishment you're pissing off? :)

Joe Haward said...

Now that sounds good!!! I do actually think you are right though. I was at a meeting the other day with our MP talking to church leaders. I came out of there wondering why I had gone. Was it to boost my own ego? Was it to have a sense of power? Probably. Would have been better if I had took the Jesus model of 'washing feet' and preaching against the powerful on behalf of the powerless.