360MC CW2 R&D – Primary Research

As my FMP is going to be about Handsworth I thought it was a good idea to construct a survey about the area of Handsworth and what people who live in the area think about it. I did this on Survey Monkey (2017) and posted it on various different groups and social media. It even got a share!

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I asked a total of 9 questions. Which can be found HERE. Many of the results that I got back were expected. I chose to make this survey because I wanted to find out what people in Handsworth thought about the area, the representation in handsworth and the media’s influence in this. I got a overwhelming response with 58 people taking this survey.

Here are some of the responses that stood out to me

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According to these results despite what the media says, people who live in handsworth think it is a good place to live in. The next question, was to elaborate on their previous answer.

Please explain your answer.

  • “I have grown up here and have never faced any problems”.
  • “Over the years we have had many different nationalities move in who don’t care for the environment as previous inhabitants. rubbish and litter is a big problem. crime rates are high in handsworth aswell as unemployment and poverty levels”.
  • “Despite its past, it is a pleasant place to live. With many communities having all sorts of issues the ones in Handsworth do not detract from it’s vibrant people”.
  • “It has diversity and culture all different communities live together”.
  • “It doesn’t exactly feel like the safest area, the stigma and media around it is always negative, however I think handsworth has a lot of history and culture to show however isn’t necessarily given the option to do so as it’s overlooked by many more negative aspects of the area”.
  • “The place has gone downhill. Not looked after. Becoming forgotten”.
  • “Great sense of community, good facilities, and culture”.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-18-14-53It is evident that the Handsworth locals think that the media portrays handsworth in a negative light. The next question, was to elaborate on their previous answer.

Please explain your answer.

  • “Mostly because people from outside come into the area to commit crimes. Sadly this is probably because a lot of drug dealers still live in the area, but when you look at the stabbings/shootings in Handsworth most are committed by residents of other areas”.
  • “Handsworth has a bad reputation because of both the past history that people never forget. We need to learn to move forward as a Community”.
  • “The riots from the 80s tarnished the area plus gang related violence in the past causes issues”.
  • “Constant articles regarding crime in the area and rarely any positive stories”.
  • “Most people are afraid of Handsworth or to walk through Handsworth. Assumptions are made on the people who live there”.
  • “They tarnish the area as a no go area. There is crime and burglaries everywhere even in posh areas like Sutton Coldfield and Solihull”.
  • “When you tell someone you live in Handsworth their reaction is clear that they don’t think handsworth is a great area to live in, this is because of the bad representation the media gives, if all the positives were also shown in media, they would probably outweigh the bad”.
  • “The only time I hear about Handsworth in the news is when someone has been killed. When I tell people where I’m from I usually get a negative reaction. Many people make jokes about me needing to carry weapons with me because I’m from Handsworth”.

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From these results it is evident that media hardly reports any good news about Handsworth and continuously post negative news about the area.

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Please explain your answer

  • “The ‘people’ are really nice and caring. We all sorts of know each other. Most people are well mannered and respectful”.
  • “Handsworth holds so much hidden Heritage and the people around us are amazing
  • All is not what it seems or how the press makes out. Great houses and green spaces. People are neighbourly”.
  • “Even though the place is messy I do feel that many of the people that live here are friendly and community focused. These people seem to be individuals And families that have lived in the area for a long time”.
  • “There are many better areas that have lower levels of crime”.
  • “I love it here but I wouldn’t recommend it to people who don’t understand the people and tough nature of the place. I’m not saying it in regards to prostitution, crime or drugs I’m talking about the fight in the people to tackle and build what little they have everyday”.
  • “I feel unsafe in handsworth”.
  • “I think it would be scary for somebody who does not know the area as such”.

From the results I received there was a mixture of responses, however majority of the people that took the survey thought that Handsworth has a bad representation in the media. Majority of the people thought that the area is not is not as bad a the media make it out to be, and they actually like living in the area. This helped me understand what people who lived in the area thought as I though it it was important to gain insight into this before I make my documentary.

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