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COMMENT; We must bring harmony to our city's streets.

Coventry is not a particularly violent city. Whatever the critics try to claim, statistics prove that there are many far more dangerous places to live.

Nor does Coventry suffer from an abnormally high burglary rate. In fact, the number of household break-ins has fallen by a staggering 300 per cent over the past 10 years.

Despite this, a dangerous myth continues to gain currency. Many Coventrians doggedly believe that their city, particularly the city centre, is little more than a muggers paradise.

When the city council and the police asked people for their views on crime they were overwhelmed with responses. This is not surprising, for law and order remains the hottest issue of public debate throughout the country.

The truly alarming trend, however, is the growth in anti-social behaviour. It beggars belief that police and council fielded 21,000 calls last year from householders complaining about nuisance neighbours, disruptive youngsters, abusive phone calls and domestic disputes.

With complaints running at the rate of 400 a week it is no exaggeration to describe the lurch towards public disorder as an epidemic.

The big challenge for the next decade is to restore harmony to these troubled neighbourhoods. To allow decent folk the right to get on with their lives in peace and quiet.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 7, 1999
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