Ipsos MORI’s recent poll pays little attention the Scottish data it contains and concentrates on an apparent panic in England and Wales. Their headline, with the above map, is:
‘Concern about crime reaches a seven-year high’
It’s not clear, from the report if the Scottish figure is higher than in previous years but it is significantly lower than in England and Wales. Indeed, the level of concern about crime is apparently twice as high in the north of England and approaching three times as high in London.
This is encouraging given that our perceptions of crime levels are mostly constructed for us by the media coverage we consume, and, in Scotland, we face daily and intense coverage of any violence that can be found, along with a prolonged campaign to undermine Police Scotland and to cast doubt on its competence. That Scots seem less anxious seems, to me, quite remarkable in the circumstances and a matter for some pride. The scale of the distortion, of the Police Scotland attacks and the failure to contextualise with comparative statistics, can be seen in these earlier reports:
I’ve always believed that one of the few demonstrable media effects is levels of anxiety in the general population, about crime, health, migration and other issues which are higher than that which the evidence supports, so once more, well done Scots!