Editorial – Michaelmas 2009, Issue 5

3 November 2009

There is much to reassure us when it comes to crime in Cambridge. As students, the institutions focused on our protection from criminal threat, direct or indirect, are numerous.

Yet, as we read such reports as that on our front page this week, the image of a rural idyll that cocky urban dwellers like myself perhaps held of the town are indeed challenged.

But is this challenge a cause for panic and paranoia? After all, not only are we, as students, the concern of the University security services, but also fall under the watchful eye of a largely progressive constabulary and its successful, albeit at times controversial, head, Julie Spence.

Police presence in Cambridge is certainly visible, though perhaps most often seen on bike patrol, handing out fines with a free set of lights.

This is not to deny that incidents take place – to do so would be blinkered and naive. On the contrary my suggestion is that confusing the presence of crime with the necessity for preoccupation therewith helps no one.

Awareness of threat must be partnered with a proportionate response, not with panic.

Thus, on hearing that, yes, crime does exist in our University bubble, and yes, we should be careful, we should not lock ourselves inside our rooms, or indeed constantly feel the need to look behind us for as we walk at night. Rather we should be alert, and aware, but acknowledge too the systems there for our protection, and the true scale of potential criminal danger we face.