YEP Says, October 21: Feeling safe in their home city is the least residents deserve

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...and a free pass to the world of digital opportunity

BEFORE a city like Leeds gets too carried away with building glitzy shopping centres and new transport systems, there are a few basics to take care of.

Feeling safe in the place you call home is at the top of many people’s list of priorities.

So it’s encouraging that more than half of those who took part in our Voice of Leeds survey feel that Leeds is safer than it was two years ago.

But it’s a cause for concern that our groundbreaking poll found that 42 per cent of people don’t feel safe when they are out and about in the city.

And four in every five admit to avoiding certain areas for fear of falling victim to crime.

Sometimes there can be a gap between perception and reality. Police point to figures which show burglaries down by a third and reports of anti-social behaviour plummeting.

Perhaps getting people more engaged in the work that goes on in their communities will help them realise that in many cases they’re safer than they feel.

But despite the progress that has been made in recent years through smarter policing and council-led safety initiatives, no one would deny that there is still work to be done.

If Leeds is going to become a safer place then it will take everyone working together to achieve it. While issues such as transport and infrastructure are important, feeling safe is the least residents deserve.

A free pass to world of digital opportunity

SHOPS and cafes that offer free wi-fi do so for a reason – they know that it will help bring people through the doors.

So it’s a great move by Leeds City Council to provide the service to more than 100 public buildings.

Not only should this hopefully increase the numbers who use them, it will also offer a way of getting on to the internet for free to those who perhaps can’t afford to access it at home.

With so many aspects of everyday life now conducted online, it’s important that everyone is connected to allow them to make the most of the opportunities that the internet offers.

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