Research notes

Why are we inviting Macclesfield people to share a diary with us?

27 Oct 2020

The idea to ask a stranger to share their diary entry with a group of distant researchers may seem odd at first. We thought it may be worth briefly exploring the reasons behind it.

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We have been awarded funding by the Economic and Social Research Council to explore what makes people feel safe or unsafe in their daily lives in a town like Macclesfield. Our project is titled, ‘Place, Crime and Insecurity in Everyday Life’ (Security in Place in short) and explores how safety relates to where people live their everyday lives.

As part of this research we are asking Macclesfield residents - and those with a strong connection to the town - to participate by keeping a diary with the following questions in mind:

What worries you about safety in the town? What do you hope for?

We chose a diary to connect with Macclesfield residents because:

The invitation for diaries is part of our adaptation of the way we work during Covid-19. We wanted to ensure that we understand more about what concerns Macclesfield residents during this period at a time when we cannot carry out our everyday face to face research activities in Macclesfield due to restrictions.

We wanted to get closer to Macclesfield as a place to live, work and spend time in, to gain a wider understanding of its safety. Under current conditions of the pandemic, we are not able to continue getting to know it in person, in the way the project had envisaged and the way we would have wished.

We see a diary entry as an attempt to connect with the multiple, mundane activities of their homes, neighbourhoods, daily commute, and other spaces in their everyday lives. And yes, we need to do it remotely now.

So rather than us, researchers, going to the public places where people gather, shop, walk, work, debate, make crafts or listen to music, we invite residents and those connected with Macclesfield to share that fragment of their everyday life with us. The invitation is open to Macclesfield residents/employees/volunteers/regular visitors.

We wish to hear as many local voices as possible, so that we could draw an accurate picture – in fact, multiple pictures - of what the town feels like to live in right now. We are aware that people are juggling many commitments during this time and we are trying to encourage people to participate without creating a burden for them. This is why we are inviting contributions in flexible formats (writing, photo, audio, video) and flexible durations (just one diary entry or up to seven). Participants can write, draw, record an audio or video, and-or take a picture with this question in mind: what worries you, what do you hope for? We are interested in how people feel about their safety in their daily lives in Macclesfield.

We ask for people’s story, narrated in a way that is most comfortable for them so that we know what are the most important challenges, worries, and hopes in regard to security in the town. Your diaries may inform what we should focus on next as we continue to explore what it means to be and feel safe and unsafe in Macclesfield.

Details on how to participate: Contact us:

So, if you are connected to Macclesfield and want to get involved, we look forward to hearing from you!

Security in Place team or WhatsApp (+44 7584779151)

We are also using other exciting methods in this project; more information here: project/what we are doing/

Invitation: Diary Entries about life in Macclesfield

6 Oct 2020

Life in Macclesfield: What worries you, what do you hope for?

Macclesfield foggy window

Thank you for your interest in taking part!

Our project ‘Security in Place’ explores how safety relates to where people live their everyday lives and we would be delighted to receive your diary about:

Life in Macclesfield: What worries you, what do you hope for?

We are academic researchers from four UK universities, wondering what makes people feel safe and unsafe in Macclesfield.

In the world affected by the restrictions due to Covid-19, we are not able to conduct our face-to-face research as usual. We are adapting our way of working and, among others, we are inviting you to share your diary about your worries and hopes while living in Macc.

We wish to hear as many local voices as possible, in order to inform academic research and future policy about security away from big metropolis in Britain today and in particular, in Macclesfield.

How to take part

(if you are 18 or over):

  1. Read participant information sheet (see ‘start here’ below) and let us know if you have any questions;
  2. Provide us with your consent and email address (‘start here’); we will email you confirming receipt and offer you support in preparing and submitting your entry.
  3. Send us your contribution via WhatsApp.

Your diary entries: You can send one or more diary entries relating to your everyday life in Macclesfield; what does being safe or unsafe mean for you; what worries you, what do you hope for?

Diary entries can be in: writing, photo, video, drawing, audio, …

or any combination of these, they can be as short or as long as you like. You can send us just one diary entry or up to seven. If you are sending us more than one diary entry they do not need to be for consecutive days.

Please do not send any material which includes recognisable faces.

Any questions please contact Dr Gosia Polanska contact us: or WhatsApp (+44 7584779151)


We look forward to receiving your diary.

Learn more about the project 'Place, crime and insecurity in everyday life' here.

Professor Ian Loader at the The Police Foundation Annual Conference 2019

26 Nov 2019

The Police Foundation Annual Conference 2019, 'Policing and the public: Engaging communities in changing times', London, 26 November 2019.

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The member of our research team, Professor Ian Loader addressed the Annual Conference audience with his talk, titled "Whatever happened to the 'fear of crime’? Everyday in/security in turbulent times", where he outlined the intellectual journey between the past and the present research projects on sense and practice of in/security in everyday life in Macclesfield. The rationale behind our research puzzle 25 years after.