'DESIGNING out' crime sometimes means designing out natural community spaces because the reaction is to 'clamp down'. Up goes the barbed wire, out go all the little play spaces and that's it.
We run from our car to our house, shut the front door and to hell with everyone and everything outside. And we wonder why we end up living in a concrete jungle with no space.
The temptation is to design out all the pockets of breathing spaces because they 'cause trouble', the trouble usually being perceived as 'the youth'.
Well, since when did the whole of a community's life be dictated by a small number of disenfranchised, selfish bullies (politicians aside)? Why do we let the bad behaviour of a very few mean that the whole community suffers by losing its natural meeting and breathing spaces
Believe me, I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of some of this grief, but we can't let them destroy our community.
In the long term, they grow up (or sometimes get locked up) but we are left with even less space than before. But what can we do?
Talk to your PCSO if you've got a good one, if not, get onto the station and give them a hard time. Our children won't thank us if they grow up in a town of high walls and barbed wire.
To paraphrase, don't let the unpleasant people get you down. And we mustn't let go of our public spaces because of them.
The bad behaviour of a few has resulted in the loss of a lot of local facilities, perhaps it's time for the community to stand and say, no more. If we turn a blind eye, or just shut down we end up with a fortress community, which is no community at all.