Neglect sends a message…
If a window is broken and not fixed within a 24-hour period, it is like a radio transmitter sending messages that we’re not paying attention or don’t care – it is a crack in our community. This broken window theory was tested in Brooklyn, New York, where a car was parked and observed by a hidden camera. No one touched the car until a window was broken: thereafter it was quickly stripped and burnt.
The perception people have of any area significantly determines crime levels and problem behaviours in that area.
If our railways are overgrown and full of litter, if our dunes become no-go areas because of the detritus of informal squatters, if our buildings are left with graffiti and gang signs – it’s like putting out a welcome mat for the criminal elements of society.
Caring for our public spaces
In the spring, summer and autumn months MCSI (with the help of MID, GRIT and Prasa) arranges periodic clean-ups of our public spaces. All members are invited to participate as many hands make light work.
Clean-up sessions run for approximately 2 hours on a weekend morning – you can join for all or part of the time as your schedule allows. MCSI members will be emailed as well as notified on the MCSI Whatsapp group about the details of where to meet and what to bring.
This is the ideal MCSI activity for those under time pressure because you can help out as and when you are available.
What’s it like?
“It was actually more enjoyable than I thought it would be… You definitely need to wear old clothes and bring garden gloves or rubber gloves, but they provided rubbish bags and hand sanitizer at the end! I met a US visitor from YWAM and we stayed in touch after so I made a new connection which was nice. And we collected 29 bags of litter in just 2 hours which surprised me – I couldn’t have imagined there would be so much.” – Lisa