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.