It is a sign of the times that crime figures were released today and raised little interest both among the media and the public. Just a few years ago it would have been a top story and every police force around the UK would have been working on detailed explanations for the media about what was behind the figures.
There are probably many reasons why this change has taken place. One issue for me is that in a world full of instant data and data of all kinds that we live in I think people have lost interest in facts and figures. They are much more interested in human interest stories and real people than in the statistical analysis of life. Some of this focus on people has been lost with a journalist reliance on using Freedom of Information requests and big data. Perhaps journalists are starting to realise that stories about statistics have lost their appeal.
I think one of the biggest reasons though is that if you look at surveys at the moment what is on people’s minds is the economy and many other things and crime does not feature. I find it a huge surprise when the top stories on the media are always crime related and it seems crime features through the pages of all the national newspapers. So perhaps the latest crime figures just deserve a small spot in a news in brief column?
The key issue for me as we move forward is to try to re-engage people with the importance of safety within their community. It may not be all about crime but surely we all want to play a part in keeping our neighbourhoods safe? As professional communicators we have to find a way to reach out to people and make this happen.