Aspects of City Life - Crime.


Different angles can be taken with regards to crime in the city, and
further to this, the main topic can be broken down into smaller areas. I have
conducted two types of research;

Primary - Interviews etc. Secondary - Named Sources.

The question of crime and how it affects a city is perhaps best put to
those people that have either lived in a city all their lives (thus knowing what
the crime is like in the area), or to those that have moved to a city from a
town or village (therefore being able to make a comparison between the types of
crime and their severity in the two habitats).

A city, apart from having a great deal more shops, civic and
recreational amenities, and night life will also have many more people - people
that need somewhere to live, meaning vast expanses of housing estates and other
residential areas. In Sunderland's case all of the above are true, and, as with
many other cities across the country it has a very large student population.
There are two centres of higher education in Sunderland - the university, and
the college, both with large subscriptions. Although both have been established
for a while now, it was only fairly recently that the old Polytechnic achieved
university status. This has not only increased the size of the university in
terms of property but also the number of students attending it. This therefore
means that the overall size of Sunderland has increased, including the numbers
of shops, clubs, recreational activities and also houses.

A great deal of people in Sunderland believe that their local pubs and
clubs have been 'taken over' by students and at first there was a great deal of
apprehension and tension between locals and students, often resulting in violent
conflict. This still exists but to a much smaller extent. However, something
that can be connected with this is the mugging and burglary that happens to a
small minority of students. Obviously crime occurs everywhere, no matter where
you live, but students are seen as easy targets due to their vulnerability, as
well as the fact that they have money and valuable possessions. The severity of
some of the attacks has been such that victims have needed extensive hospital
treatment due to the injuries they have sustained. Security measures at certain
halls of residence have been questioned after several attacks occurred in
usually safe surroundings.

The most startling aspect of violent crime in this area is that it still
occurs, despite increased policing and advice to students regarding how to
prevent it. Certain districts are particularly dangerous and carry high levels
of crime, but the problem can often be pin-pointed to individuals, stealing out
of desperation for a variety of reasons. This leads me to the main point of my
chosen topic.

The focus of my research will be upon crime against students, mainly
because I can use primary evidence (several of my friends have been mugged) and
in a presentation, be it audio, visual or both, it would, in my opinion, be more
shocking and at the same time carry a preventative message. I have certain
people in mind to interview that have been victims of crime that will help the
presentation carry impact. The views of the general public would also be
valuable to my research and so I plan to carry out an independent survey to
discover the views of local people. By doing this it will mean that I am not
taking one side or the other (students or local residents) but an unbiased view
upon crime in the local area, the reasons it occurs, and aggravating situations.
It will be up to the audience to decide whether or not students are unfairly
discriminated against, or whether locals rightly take the law into their own
hands.