Researchers are asking how safe people in Blackburn feel when shopping, studying and spending leisure time in the town centre as part of measures to increase visitors to the town.
The perceptions study has been commissioned by the Blackburn BID (Business Improvement District) in partnership with the Criminology and Criminal Justice department at the University Centre, Blackburn. The survey and focus groups will investigate the publics’ perceptions of crime and safety within the town centre and if or how this impacts on their current shopping or parking habits.
The research is being led by Hayley Bury, a second year undergraduate studying a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Blackburn University as a mature student. Hayley explains, ‘Criminology, as the scientific study of crime within society can have significant influence in creating understanding of the causes and consequences of crime. We’re interested in seeing whether improvements to our environment, making the town a nicer place will change people’s behavior and improve people’s perceptions of the town as a place they feel comfortable spending time in.’
The BID’s Harriet Roberts explains, ‘Our policing and security operation in the town centre is of an extremely high standard thanks to the award winning Blackburn Businesses Against Crime Team and the partnership work we are involved in with Lancashire Police. Hayley’s research looks at other factors that influence how people perceive the area that we want to bench mark at our outset. This will help us measure whether attitudes are changing and whether our investment is working. Blackburn is undergoing a radical improvement. The BID is working with a range of partners to invest in measures to help fill empty shops by attracting and supporting new businesses, make the town greener and cleaner and also make people feel safer and secure so that they will want to shop here.’
If you would like to participate in a focus group to discuss your concerns about crime and safety in the town centre please contact the BID at firstname.lastname@example.org, you will receive a £30 M &S voucher if you are selected to take part in this research event.
Alternatively please contribute to this research and have your opinion counted by completing this short survey http://www.instant.ly/s/s3Mci