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Do you feel safe............................

Grumpy John

Here a lot
...................................going out photographing at night?
I'm sure that the phenomenon of young gangs roaming city streets is not isolated to my part of the world (Melbourne, Australia) and that the mainstream press love to make a big deal out of such behaviour, it has certainly changed my togging habits. I used to love going in to the CBD and doing night shoots, both on my own and with friends, but I have not done so for about five years now, personal safety being my main concern.
As this is truly a global forum I was wondering what other members of our community feel about going out at night pursuing our hobby. Do you feel safe, is street violence not a problem where you live?
 

Onyx

Member
No I don’t feel safe, and would never venture into a British city centre at night with my camera. Indeed, I would never venture there without my camera, if I’m honest.

It may be, of course, that media coverage of isolated incidents of muggings etc have coloured my view, and that I would be safe and unharmed unless I was very unlucky. But I am convinced that city streets are no place for a going on elderly woman after dark, especially if I’m intent on pointing a camera at things/people, and, therefore, I’m not prepared to risk it, unfortunately.

(Based in the UK in the East Midlands, so my nearest city centres would be Nottingham, Derby or Leicester, for reference.).
 

Minor Problem

Always on
Premium Member
On the Isle of Wight where I live it is of no concern at all, there is very little violent crime here but I've also never worried about wandering about central London in the wee hours with my kit either which I've done plenty of times. At 6ft4 and being built like a tank it might be that folks wouldn't see me as an easy target as some others though.
 

Snips

Always on
Never occurred to me to be honest but there isn’t robbery and thuggery in the countryside as a general rule so I’ve never had to live with it. When in my 20’s there were one or two areas in south east London I wouldn’t visit at night on my own but that’s all.

When I went to Newcastle recently it was the last thing from my mind when carrying my clobber around. Just as when photographing a waterfall, my bags were a few feet behind me to be out of the way of those walking past.
 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
Not bothered me in the slightest. There are some small areas I would not venture but those areas are not really photogenic hot spots. Most of London is safe aside from a few small patches. I live in Hertfordshire which is not too problematic either. Most incidents we hear about are between people who know each other, random attacks and mugging is very low. If I was attacked for my photographic gear they can have it and I will let the insurance deal with it.
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
I won't go in to Barcelona regardless of the time with a camera (I used to but now there's no need), but usually the thing that really puts it up me, especially at night are the vipers. When it's warm loads of them slither out to sit on the hard surfaces, but as they are small they usually aren't visible until you get right on top of them and whilst not generally fatal it's a hospital job when they nip you.

If someone wanted to have a pop for my camera gear, then it's insured and they can have a look at the monopod as well...
 

Grumpy John

Here a lot
....................................
If someone wanted to have a pop for my camera gear, then it's insured and they can have a look at the monopod as well...
That's as may be Sean, however these thugs are never alone and will give you a good kicking to go on with once they have your gear. Even if you have managed to insert your monopod where the sun doesn't shine, that doesn't do you much good if you're laid up in hospital.

Sorry to have such a negative outlook, but city life does not seem to be getting any better.
 

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
Certainly not at home. Downtown Toronto is different than a lot of cities. There are so many people that live there now in expensive condos that there are mostly "good" people there. We do seem to have a gang war going on though, there have been a lot of targeted shootings in the past month or so. Those are mostly in more suburban areas.
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
That's as may be Sean, however these thugs are never alone and will give you a good kicking to go on with once they have your gear. Even if you have managed to insert your monopod where the sun doesn't shine, that doesn't do you much good if you're laid up in hospital.

Sorry to have such a negative outlook, but city life does not seem to be getting any better.
A lot of the street crime around about is generally illegal residents, they work by preying on people they think are vulnerable, but as soon as they start risking a trip to the hospital themselves (which as they are illegals would end up with too much attention on them) they soon think again. A lot of them try to intimidate, quick tap to the face with something that's going to hurt and they run. Proper criminals around aren't bothered by some guy with a camera, they are too busy popping each other for the control of the drugs trade.
 

Ozzie_Traveller

Old Hand
Premium Member
G'day mate

Over the years I have shot pics at night across most Oz state capitals and heaps of smaller towns, never with any problems. The biggest 'problem' is the stickybeaks who want to see your latest pic &/or want to pose in front of the camera for your next pic. If they insist I take their pic and ask them for $2 plus the postage to send them a 4x6" print ~ strangely they inevitably decline

Also- whenever I am doing such stuff, I am wearing my 'Photographer' emblazoned fluoro safety vest so that I can be easily seen at night, and it also seems to deter those who might wish to be a nuisance

Phil
 

JAH-WAR

Always on
Premium Member
Never really thought about it enough to be concerned. Over the years, I've been trained in many lethal and non lethal self defense techniques and if necessary, I'd fall back on these to get me out of any threatening situation. They have worked in the past and I'm sure will work again.
 

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
I should have mentioned, that I felt perfectly safe walking around London and Brighton at night with my camera when I was there in June. I do not know if I should not have been, but it all worked out.
 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
I should have mentioned, that I felt perfectly safe walking around London and Brighton at night with my camera when I was there in June. I do not know if I should not have been, but it all worked out.
You should feel safe in both those places. Despite the rise in knife crime, random attacks have dropped quite a lot. Especially in the busy areas the risk is quite low. Pick pockets are a bit of a problem in central London and parts of Brighton though, mainly mobile phone and bag snatching.
 

gaelldew

Always on
Premium Member
Never really thought about it enough to be concerned. Over the years, I've been trained in many lethal and non lethal self defense techniques and if necessary, I'd fall back on these to get me out of any threatening situation. They have worked in the past and I'm sure will work again.
Probably take one look at you they'd turn and beat Usain Bolt.
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
You should feel safe in both those places. Despite the rise in knife crime, random attacks have dropped quite a lot. Especially in the busy areas the risk is quite low. Pick pockets are a bit of a problem in central London and parts of Brighton though, mainly mobile phone and bag snatching.
Similar to a lot of the places that have seen spikes in violent crime around these parts; whilst the crime levels have gone up in them categories the risk level to it being something of a random nature hasn't. The chances of being a victim of low level crime have increased greatly recently out down the coast, but that's symbiotic to the out of control tourist sector though yet affects everyone who ventures in to the area.

A lot of the problem with a lot of the crimes here are not really the crimes themselves, but it's the media circus that spews forth; I've seen stuff happen which in most places wouldn't get many if any column inches, but once the second tier media (more bothered about ad revenue than truth, and can spin a wild boar getting hit by a train in to six hours of programming) pick up on it then it can sound cross between Apocalypse Now and Clockwork Orange (and sadly that's what a lot of folk would believe as that media is noisy, flashy and sadly, very popular).
 

Grumpy John

Here a lot
Thank you all for your interesting replies. I tend to agree with the opinion that the chances of coming to grief are pretty remote and that the mainstream press love to beat up a good story.
 

alan14

Always on
Premium Member
I've never felt unsafe wandering around Manchester or London at night, but I'm not sure I'd want to go out photographing people late at night.

Obviously there are places I would avoid at night, but city centres are pretty safe
 
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