Editorial: Still not Detroit

Apologies to those who would like to put Oxford on a level with “Shottingham” or “Madchester”, but our city is not the gritty crime-fuelled metropolis that many have begun to presume.

At the risk of overusing a tired phrase, it must be reiterated that Oxford is not Detroit. Still.

And no fear-mongering such as “Cowley’s Summer of Blood”, which sounds like a cheap horror film, or a bop theme, will make this pleasant provincial town into the badlands.

Much paranoia and false trend-spotting has emerged due to a number of recent high-profile attacks.

Yet rather than representing a rise in crime in Oxford, what these events really show is how relatively safe it is here. The recent assaults have been so high-profile partly because of the surprise that they should happen in an area unaccustomed to such occurrences.

In reality, violent crime is becoming less common here. The number of assaults in central Oxford is actually 20% lower than this time last year.

Some attacks occurring in a concentrated space of time does not mean that hysterical claims can be made about Oxford’s “mean streets”.

In fact these are still the clean streets, and heightened anxiety and tension being spread about will help neither the atmosphere of the City, nor the victims of the attacks, and their friends and family, to recover.