Do you feel safe?

Research shows that crime is reducing, yet people’s fear of crime – their perception about their likelihood of being a victim of crime – remains high, which concerns organisations right across the public sector, including the County Council, the Police and national government. Fear of crime can massively affect people’s quality of life leading to isolation and mistrust in communities. We want to challenge these misconceptions, keep people informed about the issues that matter to them most, and help them feel safer.

Staffordshire is a safe place to live. Incidences of crime are falling every year.  What’s more, you are less likely to be a victim of crime than ever before. So it’s a worry that in some communities in our county, more than 25% of people are fearful of being a victim.

Here in Staffordshire, we are tackling the issue head on, but we can’t do it alone, we need to work with others and with communities to make safety a priority. This is why in partnership with Staffordshire Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, borough and parish councils, and Age UK, we’re launching a campaign to help people feel safer and enjoy their communities more. This campaign is about realising our vision to create a connected county where everyone can prosper, be healthy, happy – and safe.

Our first stage is to listen. There are complex reasons for why people are fearful of crime and different people fear different things.  We’ll be engaging with people in communities where fear of crime is highest, yet actual crime low, to understand what makes them feel safe – and what doesn’t. We’ll do this through events, our innovative new online listening app, via social media and traditional surveys. The information we gather will then be used to inform the next stage of the campaign to explain how, as a partnership, we’re ‘watching’ and preventing the crimes that people are fearful of. The final stage of the campaign will explain how all partners are working together to act on crime, and will encourage people to get involved and volunteer with organisations to support their communities to be safer. Empowering individuals and communities can inspire greater independence, better integration and reduce loneliness.

This campaign is ambitious, and unique, bringing together organisations from across the region. If it’s successful, there’s every chance it may replicated in other areas.

Ultimately, Staffordshire is one of the safest places in the country to live – and we believe that by addressing people’s fears, we will help them to feel as safe as they actually are.

You can offer your own thoughts about how safe you feel by filling in the online survey now.

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