Guerilla_knitting__2500098b

Leicester has been covered in knitted decorations in an attempt to make residents feel safer.

A community event organised by Leicestershire Police was held on Saturday 2 March to hang knitted pom-poms from trees in Bede Park.

A message posted on their website said: “The perception of crime is disproportionate to actual reported levels of crime and police and partners hope that by bringing the local community together to brighten up the stretch of Great Central Way, more people will use the walkway and the fear of crime will be reduced.”

Many groups from across Leicester, including students from De Montfort University have donated their knitted creations to the project.

This idea comes after worrying stories of serious crime on campus.

Recent sexual assault and theft cases as well as suspected stabbings on campus have panicked many students and this project from Leicestershire police is an attempt to reassure them of the security of the area.

Business and Management student, Ella Clist, said: “Since the incident I haven’t noticed more police patrols, or given clear advice from the university until I went looking for that advice myself. I try to leave Uni before it gets too dark and I carry a personal alarm around with me now, which I never did before.”

The aim of the project is to make residents of the area feel happy when they see the brightly coloured decorations in the park and to therefore feel safer.

Criminologist Charlotte Bilby said  “If you see something that makes you smile, that makes you think that other people have enjoyed being in that space and have done something funny, something silly in that place, then that’s going to change your perception about what it is to be in Bede Park.”

Bede Hall resident Danielle Lett said “It might be some sort of psychological trick to make people feel safer but it’s unrealistic.”

Journalism Student, Bethan Head, added “I don’t think [that] makes anyone feel safer! It seems like a waste of time and money to whoever did it. BedePark is well lit and near a residential area, I think that’s enough that can be done to make it feel safe.”

The police officers from the Westcote area who organised the event called it a ‘great success’ on Twitter and said that the project was working to ‘challenge the fear of crime’.