Ian Loader has been awarded a research grant from the Economic and Social Research Council for a study entitled ‘Place, crime and insecurity in everyday life: A contemporary study of an English town’. The study – to be conducted along with Evi Girling (Keele), Richard Sparks (Edinburgh) and Ben Bradford (UCL) – will commence in November and run for three years. 

The project will investigate how people living in one English town, Macclesfield in Cheshire, talk about and act towards a range of threats that they regard as impinging upon their safety (their personal bodily integrity, their property, their locality, their wider habitat). Such threats include but are somewhat wider than those traditionally brought under the umbrella of the 'fear of crime' and include new forms of risk, and risk-consciousness, made possible by the digital revolution. 

In the mid-1990s, three members of the research team addressed earlier versions of these questions through a study of people's fears and feelings towards crime and social order in Macclesfield in Cheshire. The outcomes of this work were published in a book, Crime and Social Change in Middle England (2000). In this study the team will revisit Macclesfield, a quarter of a century later, to undertake a new study of people's everyday experiences of security and insecurity against the backdrop of rapid social, political and technological change (notably, the digital revolution, migration, austerity, and Brexit).