Project Report - Security and everyday life in Macclesfield

29 May 2024

Project Report Available - Security and everyday Life in Macclesfield: Changing faces of safety and (dis)order in the 21st century.


You can download our full report here: Security and everyday life in Macclesfield - PROJECT REPORT pdf

Executive Summary

In this report, we offer an account of the main findings of a study we conducted of everyday security concerns in Macclesfield. Between November 2019 and July 2023, we used a range of methods to investigate the experience and perceptions of safety and security among differently-situated people living and working in the town today. We interviewed people individually and in small groups, conducted two community surveys, spoke with the local authorities, police and other security providers, analysed local social media, observed public spaces, and spent time with a wide range of local groups.

Back in the mid-1990s, three members of the present research team conducted a similar study of ‘crime-talk’ in the town. In the 1990s, people in Macclesfield expressed a wide range of concerns, some of which reflected problems that were high on the public agenda nationally at that time. These included worries about burglary, car theft, and drugs and anti-social behaviour, especially around licensed premises and about groups of young people in public spaces. They also worried about the absence of visible policing in the town.

Our new study shows that those worries have not gone away. But they are today less prominent in what people tell us about what it is like to live in and feel safe in this town. For most of our participants, crime was not at the forefront of their accounts of concerns about the town and their ability to imagine a secure future there. Local place-talk in the 2020s is not first and foremost talk about crime – a striking change from what we found in the 1990s. The main findings of the present study are as follows:

In voicing such concerns, people also raise questions about who is or should be responsible for acting to solve or improve these problems, and sometimes about what actions they can take, individually and collectively, to express care for their locality and its future. Security and everyday life in Macclesfield - PROJECT REPORT pdf

Revised: 4 Jun 2024, 9:11 a.m.

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