There seem to have been a spate of incidents on the streets hereabouts recently and we or other HoL users have added posts about them online.
Reading one response to a crime related post from a member this morning, I was uncomfortable to read that she's starting to feel more nervous about going out now. I'm wondering whether we're doing the community a disservice by providing a platform for these crime stories.
On the one hand, it's good to be informed. On the other, are we responsible for creating more fear than there's cause for?
Is there a middle ground? Could we do things differently that would meet both the desire to inform and the wish not to cause undue concern?
I would rather be aware but i think we have to be cautious not to panic. Until police clearly state what is happening it is easy to get wrong end of stick - that is how vigilantes start.
Perhaps the language we use should be more factual and less speculative?
i will think more carefuly how i word things of this nature in future.
Keep things as they are because;
1. information from HOL members can act as alerts until the police are able to post further information and clarify what it is they think happened.
2. HOL members can choose to be aware by reading the relevant posts on various crimes or, ignore. Up to them.
3. Member contributions can act as a patchwork of links creating a clearer picture
4. There is sometimes further information provided by HOL members (e.g. where to lay flowers) that the police aren't required to provide
5. Members can make informed decisions about their own security and adapt as necessary (eg. go buy extra technology or change their route to/from home, even if only temporary)
Language on these posts should be considerate to others at all times. Arguments are not necessary or helpful.
I agree there should be a middle ground. But how that can be achieved, I don't really know to be honest.
Perhaps a more balanced approach to the positive as well as the negative aspects of life in Harringay/Haringey. For example, see Tunbridgewells' response to the Haringey Autism Team cutbacks.
At the moment I wouldn't recommend HoL to anyone who is thinking of moving to the area. I would be put right off.
I have lived in the area for nearly 8 years and I've always felt fairly safe, to me it seems to be a very 'family area'. I have never felt threatened while coming home at night, unlike my 3 years of living in Brixton.
But I've been a member of HOL for about a month and I really didn't realise the level of crime, and nasty incidents in our area. For me it's a double edged sword. I do appreciate knowing what's going on in the community but on the other hand I do feel a little less safe after dark now.
I've decided to keep with HOL for a little while longer, I do enjoy the discussions and the positives on the site, and see if I continue to like being this informed.
Thanks for your views Julie. Really useful. I know what you mean about the double-edged sword. Whilst the facts are that this isn't a high crime area and these sort of incidents happen everywhere in London, I do have a sense of our responsibility for making you and others feel less safe.
There's a blog-based local website I know in London that has a policy of not focussing on 'everyday crime', precisely because every area of London has it. The guy that runs the site feels that focussing attention on that aspect of local life doesn't achieve anything. (Of course a blog-based site offers levels of control that we simply don't have here.)
The current police position is that peope should know, that 's it's better to be informed.
I guess there's no single right answer. Ultimately it's down to what kind of space we want to create. Do we want an online space that reflects local life in tooth and claw, beauty and warts or do we want somewhere that allows us to reinforce the positive and build connections and local community in a rosier environment.
I don't have a ready answer.
I personally would be pleased to see fewer of the " speculative " posts along the lines of " I heard that..." " I saw police cars - anybody know what was going on ? " and " A woman was knocked down - it was probably the fault of the bus driver who might have been speeding " .
Some posts complain the " the police wouldn't tell me what was going on " Well of course they wouldn't. Basically it's none of our business unless we are personally involved: the police aren't going to feed a rumour mill and they don't want to prejudice the gathering of witness statements.
Perhaps we should agree to pass our concerns to the police in the first instance and let them give out information on HOL as they see fit.