I’m not a head in the sand kind of person as a rule, but I confess that I enjoy living in the relative cotton wool-wrapped community that we have in The Heatons. However, I’m starting to think that our happy little bubble is near popping as we hear almost daily reports of burglaries, car thefts and anti-social incidents.
I think some of the perceived level of bad news is down to our ability to spread information. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Certainly sharing news through social media (without scaremongering) in order to remind people to take care of themselves and property is important. It does however also heighten our awareness of crime levels in the area. Couple that with some other big issues we’re facing as a community (not least the debate around possible school developments) and it becomes clear to me it that now more than ever we need to stick together. Look out for your neighbours, smile at people you recognise and make time to say hello to those you know – these little actions can’t of course lessen the awfulness of being a victim of crime, (I’m not advocating a Band-Aid approach to the situation) but can remind us that The Heatons is still a friendly and caring place to live, work and raise children. And whilst the community may be split in the current development debate, showing a respect for other people’s opinions, without having to share those views, at least shows a recognition that we are in a debate with ‘neighbours’.
Even if the bubble has burst (or been stretched a bit) and we’re being given a dose of real-life community issues, I still wouldn’t live anywhere else.
PS For a few top tips about home security turn to page 51 and for some ideas for burglar deterrent planting you can do (yes really!) have a look at page 71.