Monday, 28 January 2013

Its official, Shetland is the best place to live according to the Royal Bank of Scotland area quality of life survey. It scored very high when it came to health, life expectancy, unemployment and one of the lowest crime rates in the UK.

In addition to this the National Geographic Travel magazine placed Shetland joint third along side Lofoten Islands in Norway and Chiloi archipelago in Chile.

Obviously crime is a big concern for everyone and to move to a low crime area is going to be a big benefit especially when getting older. At present in Sheffield, the 3rd largest city in England certain areas are no go especially at night. So far in 2013, one murder has been committed, 3 other shootings and several stabbings have taken place. Gang crime is always a problem and towards the end of last year 25 incidents of gang related crime (in 2 months) occurred in just one area of Sheffield. Rival gangs opened fired on each other and on houses in the Parson Cross area. Last year in South Yorkshire  the police tackled 11,000 incidents of public disorder, 95362 offences in total, that's nearly 5 times the whole Shetland population. In the run up to christmas 99 crimes occurred at Meadowhall, 5 mobile phone are stolen in Sheffield every day and there has been a 10% increase in burglaries last year.

In contrast Shetland has a 70% detection rate, the highest in the UK, and 100% detection rate for drugs possession and supply (Shetland times). Its one of the few places where you can leave your house unlocked and keys in your car either day or night and not have a problem (outside Lerwick). We remember speaking to a police officer in the early 1990's, who was on the ferry heading south. He told us that he had only made one arrest in 15 years while on Unst, where crime is very very rare, but had now just been transferred to Liverpool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Normally I would be very concerned if I saw kids with these weapons in Sheffield, but not in Shetland

Ok so most of us don't get affected by this level of crime but it's there and you have to be aware. On a few occasions while photographing in Sheffield city centre I have just avoided possible incidents where i could have been mugged. Its not safe to carry an expensive DSLR camera, especially at night and you are always looking out for possible encounters, even when you are with someone else. This doesn't help when I am running night photography training courses. Also when I am out with a large telephoto lens it always draws unwanted attention and it restricts where you can go. So i am looking towards the freedom Shetland offers where photography is concerned.

                                                             Sheffield City Centre

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