What makes us feel safe and secure in Macclesfield?

Join the conversation: Hear our findings, ask questions and talk about what should happen next

We are nearing the end of our research and we want to invite residents who have taken part as well as other interested residents and practitioners to join us to hear about what we found and to explore what our findings mean for Macclesfield and how they can be put to use in the town to improve public safety.

Join the conversation on Saturday, 8th of July 2023, 10-2 at St Michael & All Angels Market Place Macclesfield SK10 1DY

Lunch, refreshments and a small gift by way of shopping vouchers to say thank you for your time and to contribute towards travel to the town centre will be available for those attending.

Please register your interest and reserve your place Here or Email us - Evi Girling at contact.securityinplace@keele.ac.uk

Place, Crime and Insecurity in Everyday Life, sometimes shortened to Security in Place, is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. More info here: https://securityinplace.org/

The current research team is Dr Evi Girling (Keele, Principal Investigator), Prof Ian Loader (Oxford), Prof Ben Bradford (UCL), Prof Richard Sparks (Edinburgh) and Dr Sergen Bahceci (Oxford, Research Associate). More details here: https://securityinplace.org/research-team/

More background on the project:

The research project started 25 years ago, with the goal of understanding how the risks around us impinge on our lives and effect how we feel about our locality. The insights will also help police, local authorities and all those making public policy across the UK.

“How safe and secure we feel is really important to our quality of life. We were keen to find out exactly what affects that feeling and how and why it changes over time,” says lead researcher Dr Evi Girling, a lecturer at Keele University.

“We wanted to study these questions in one town so that we could put things in context, understand the history, and get to know the place itself and the people involved. And back in 1994 we chose Macclesfield.”

Dr Girling and her colleagues started visiting the town regularly again in 2019 for a follow up project.

“Since our original research, society has experienced major upheavals - from the growth of the internet and social media, the 2008 financial crisis, to austerity and the climate crisis” explains Dr Girling. “We wanted to see what bearing these have had on people’s feelings of safety and security, anxiety or confidence. And as we continued the work, we’ve also been able to explore changes in the face of Brexit, the pandemic, and the current cost of living crisis.”

The project, ‘Place, Crime and Insecurity in Everyday Life’, is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. In conducting the research, the team has hundreds of Maxonians taking part in some way in the project, in surveys, focus groups or individual interviews The team spent hundreds of hours walking, driving and cycling around the town, attended local events, and accompanied both PCSOs on the beat and police vehicles responding to calls. As a result, the team have been able to create an in-depth picture of what makes Maxonians feel secure or insecure – and how that’s changed over time.

The morning event on Saturday 8th July will give local people a chance to learn more about the findings and also to discuss what public safety improvements might improve the quality of life for residents, as well as who should be responsible. We hope that there will be an opportunity to discuss the findings with those who provide relevant services and make decisions about the town and who are invited to a listen and lunch session.

“We hope as many people as possible will come and join the conversation on 8th July to hear our findings, ask us questions and talk about what should happen next,” says researcher Professor Ian Loader, now a professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford. “We’ll then pass on the key messages about what participants propose for the future to the town’s decision makers.”

Macclesfield residents 18 or over are welcome to attend the meeting. Please register as spaces are limited. Doors open at 9.30am for registration, tea and coffee. Macclesfield’s surplus food cafe ‘Angel at My Table’ will be providing lunch, free of charge before the last session. Participants will be given a small ‘thank you’ gift in the form of vouchers for their time and to cover any costs of getting to the town centre.

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