Guerilla knitting in Leicester 'to reduce crime fear'

Police officer attaching pom-poms to a tree Many of the decorations were strung up as part of a community event

Related Stories

Hundreds of pom-poms and knitted items have been strung from trees and lampposts to help reduce the fear of crime in an area of Leicester.

Leicestershire Police hope the "guerilla knitting" or "yarn bombing" will encourage more people to use Bede Park and Great Central Way.

Some of the park's users told BBC Radio Leicester the items - including tree warmers - do not make them feel safer.

But criminologist Charlotte Bilby said they could have a positive effect.

'Something silly'

Ms Bilby, a senior lecturer in criminology at Northumbria University, said: "I think that making an area look cosier certainly makes an area feel safer.

Do the decorations make you feel safer?

BBC Radio Leicester asked people in Bede Park what they thought of the decorations.

  • "I wouldn't say safer but it definitely makes me smile every morning."
  • "When it's dark you can't see them. It's not like they are lights. That's what this needs if it wants to stop crime; better lighting, not things to make it look brighter."
  • "I don't understand why wool would change people's perception on crime and stuff like that. I don't understand why woollen balls are going to fix something."
  • "I suppose it does encourage families and kids and make it look a bit more child-friendly but it's not going to stop crime."

"If you see something that makes you smile, that makes you think that other people have enjoyed being in that space and have done something funny, something silly in that place, then that's going to change your perception about what it is to be in Bede Park."

Sgt Simon Barnes said: "I am really hopeful that the actions will reduce the fear of becoming a victim of crime, as the perception really is much different to the actual reported levels of crime."

Many of the decorations were strung up as part of a community event on Saturday.

They were made by schools and community groups including the Knitting Guerillas of Birstall.

Ms Bilby added: "As we all know more officers on the beat doesn't actually have a massive impact on crime rates in [an] area.

"More officers on the beat plus community involvement - community engagement, making sure that people feel part of the community and that the community belongs to them - perhaps that's a better way of making an area feel safer."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Leicester

Weather

Leicester

13 °C 6 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records


  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Joe Ierardi playing a pianoClick Watch

    Meet the man trying to create the perfect digital piano - but is it as good as the real thing?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.