A family whose son was one of London’s teenage stabbing vicitms in 2008 spoke recently about how they had responded to the tragedy.
Instead of calling for (even) more CCTV cameras to prevent crime, they started building relationships with the shopkeepers and other business-owners in the area. Through transforming a street into a community (doing things like giving every shop-worker a rose on Valentine’s day), they have cut the crime tremendously.
They got people to know each other so they no longer saw themselves as individuals alone in their little worlds, to focus on the small things so they started to report little crimes (minor shoplifting, graffiti) that normally got ignored, and to look out for one another, so graffiti on one wall was a problem for the whole street.
Really inspiring stuff. It must have been incredibly hard to start building the relationships initially – especially when you’re facing such a devastating loss yourself, but their courage and persistence worked and totally transformed the culture of the street.