Friday, October 14, 2011

2011 Streak Day 269 (Thur 29 Sept): Blood in the park

2011 Streak Day 269 (Thur 29 Sept): Bike 23.35 miles Time 1hr 37 min Weather - Hot, like summertime

A beautiful warm autumn day and a enjoyable cycle ride but I did not take any photos until I got home.
The picture of bedding plants is there to represent planting in Gadebridge Park (I say represent because after getting back I was too lazy to go again, so took this in the back garden). The reason for this is the park has featured many times on the blog this year but unfortunately it has been the site of violence. The headline in the paper was "Police cordon off bloodstained park scene." By the standard of other parts of the country this  was pretty tame stuff but nevertheless this is not good - it is where I go.
I know it can all feed into a perception that the world is becoming more violent but is this really the case? Stephen Pinker has recently written an book (The better angels of our nature) arguing that violence has declined (his TED lecture on this subject can  be found here).
I am qualified to comment about it, except that on a personal level I have never felt  threatened walking around town. On all my excursions I sense that on the whole life here is pretty peaceable. Hertfordshire seems a decent place to live.

The strange thing is that for a number of years crime statistics have shown violent crime declining but the public perception (especially driven by newspaper headlines) is that things are getting worse. 

It is interested how we don't trust official statistics.

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