Monday, 11 March 2013

The Power Of The PomPom

No, nothing to do with this great blog. This refers to the strange goings on in the middle of our fine city this past week. People have been stringing pompoms and other knitted objects from trees in the park. [an unusual activity, which has attracted worldwide media attention!]


This is the brainchild of one of our local policeman, who believes that seeing the knitted baubles will make people feel safer.

Charlotte Bilby [a senior lecturer in criminology at Northumbria University] said they could have a positive effect. She said "I think that making an area look cosier certainly makes an area feel safer. "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.”


BBC Radio Leicester asked people in Bede Park what they thought of the decorations.

  • "I wouldn't say safer but it definitely makes me smile every morning."
  • "When it's dark you can't see them. It's not like they are lights. That's what this needs if it wants to stop crime; better lighting, not things to make it look brighter."
  • "I don't understand why wool would change people's perception on crime and stuff like that. I don't understand why woollen balls are going to fix something."
  • "I suppose it does encourage families and kids and make it look a bit more child-friendly but it's not going to stop crime."


It clearly hasn’t been that successful in deterring criminal behaviour – I understand that most of the balls have already been nicked!!

Is somebody trying to pull the wool over our eyes?


  1. A friend sent me the link to this article- apparently it made him think of me! I wondered if pompoms would reduce the tendancy to wrongdoing in Strawberry Land! I do passionately believe in public art for all the positive reasons listed above. How people feel about where they live will always be important. But I'm very unsure on the policing benefits. If we tried it here we'd first have to ensure that the colour schemes were neither red, whie and blue, nor green, white and orange! Or that at least we didn't hang them in the wrong areas!!

    1. How about pink, yellow and purple pompoms?

  2. Interesting! I do like pictures of "yarn bombing" that I've seen. I find it sweet that some believe that "cozy" makes people feel safer. That's dear.
    I do like pom poms and thank you for linking to me. YOU are safe and nice.

  3. There is a regular bloger who posts about yarn bombing . Today she is telling about an Italian village that will completely yarn bomb its entire area . Ithink it will be March 21st

    1. Thanks for this information- the details are here
      [the page will translate into English for you!]

  4. What I noticed on the Radio 4 report was that the police are fairly happy with ACTUAL crime levels in the area, but that the peoples' PERCEPTION is that it's a crime-ridden place. Thus the pompoms, which clearly can't stop criminal behaviour, aren't actually intended to do that - they are intended to cheer up a place and change its image. Or at least, that's what they said... is it just about perception, do you think, Ang?

  5. The Park WAS formerly known for criminal activity [drug pushers etc] and also late night revellers frequently left a lot of litter. I think the idea as you say, was to change people's perception and make them FEEL safer. But now the pompoms have all been stolen, I am not sure if it has worked!


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