The British Crime Survey, based on interviews with a representative sample of people in England and Wales, suggested the violent crime rate is stable: longer term, the number of violent incidents has fallen by half since 1995. But 75 per cent of people thought that crime was rising and even more people were convinced that serious violent crime was up. Why is this?
“By most objective indications England is one of the safest nations on Earth,” says Lawrence Sherman, a professor of criminology at Cambridge University. To explain what he sees as the yawning gulf between perception and reality, he refers to the theories of the 19th-century French sociologist Émile Durkheim. “Whenever the borders of a society become unclear, whenever there is increased uncertainty about what it means to be French, or British, whenever there is increased immigration, people fear crime,” he says.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
NOTE TO BRITISH KRAV MAGA STUDENTS: YOU'RE RIGHT TO BE WORRIED
My quest to become the least-qualified martial arts expert on the Internet gained traction this week when I came down with a cold and one of my cats, Suleyman the Upchucker, simultaneously came down with the stomach flu. I've done nothing remotely like a martial art since Monday, further increasing the gap between my skills and my willingness to offer an opinion.
Since I myself haven't seen the inside of a gym since Monday, I'm turning today's entry over to my readers. Ben Atlas, who knows something about judo -- is that right, Ben? -- sent me this item about Krav Maga training in London. (Note to Judith, who lives in Israel and asked me about Krav Maga: Yes, it's an Israeli martial art.)
My comments: First, if I were trying to promote a martial art, I might be kind of unhappy if articles about it were running in the "Life & Style: Men" section of the Times. That part of the paper is usually reserved for lists of top-ten spas for back waxing. I suppose all PR is good PR, but ideally, you'd want that piece to run in the "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women" section.
But more interestingly, I see that the Times is once again repeating the Party line about crime in Britain, viz., that there's not that much of it, and that the people who think so are hysterics:
This is nonsense, and on this subject, I am actually qualified to speak. The students in this class are right to be worried.