Team presents paper at the annual British Society of Criminology in June 2022

30 Jul 2022

Inescapable Objects? Reflections on the place of cars and automobility in our findings

Macc street with cars
Macc street red bus

Professor Ian Loader and Dr Evi Girling presented a paper drawing from our emerging project findings. The paper was titled: Inescapable objects?: Everyday security in a car-centric town


In our present study of security and everyday life in an English town (Macclesfield in Cheshire), numerous sources of data suggest that concerns about cars – their volume, speed, (bad) parking, presence at school ‘drop-off’, and overall effect on the ecology of the town – loom large in the preoccupations of local people. It has been common in work on public insecurities – including, we should add, our own previous study of the same town – to skip over these stated concerns in favour of more ‘serious’ (or obviously criminological) threats to people’s feelings of safety. But what happens if we don’t do that and, instead, treat automobility as a ubiquitous and consequential impediment to people’s sense of their town as a liveable place? In this paper, we document and make sense of the range of concerns, and forms of regulatory contestation, that arise with respect to the car’s prominent place in the local harmscape. We then reflect, more widely, on what might follow from folding systems of automobility into how we investigate and theorize the sources and meanings of everyday security.

Revised: 12 Mar 2024, 4:55 p.m.

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