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Laura Craik on the perils of victim-blaming, the Sally Rooney bucket hat and what Brooklyn baked next

It won’t have escaped your notice that crime is on the rise. Not a day goes by without an iPhone being snatched, a teenager being knifed, a woman being attacked or, in one tragic case, a man being bludgeoned to death in what detectives suspect is a homophobic hate crime.

He should have been more careful. That’s the message Hackney and Tower Hamlets police conveyed when they urged the gay community to ‘prioritise their personal safety’ at night ‘by being aware of their surroundings, avoiding listening to music and avoiding dimly lit areas where possible’. I hate to break it to them, but in a few weeks, everywhere will be dimly lit. It’s called winter.

Perhaps we should pass a law allowing women and gays to leave work at 3.30pm. Although that other vulnerable group — children — already leave school at this hour, and it doesn’t stop them being robbed and attacked either.

Similar advice was given to a female friend last week when she contacted the police, terrified after having been followed from the Tube station to her flat. She was dissuaded from wearing headphones and encouraged not to use her mobile, then in the next breath, counselled to tell someone when she’d be coming home.

“Don’t blame the headphones, the darkness or the victims. Blame the men. More usefully, educate them. Most men are allies”

How, if not via mobile? With advice like this, it’s no surprise that a rash of TikTok users are sharing their own tips on how to stay safe on the streets, many of them way more useful than those issued by the police.

Don’t blame the headphones, the darkness or the victims. Blame the men. More usefully, educate them. Ask them to be mindful of their role in making women feel safer on the streets. Most men are allies. Many are afraid of falling victim to crime themselves, because it isn’t safe for men, and particularly teenage boys, out there either.

The difference is that they haven’t been victim-blamed, a practice that helps no one and solves nothing. More policing on the streets? That’s a better idea.

Out of the darkness:
how can London’s streets be made safer?

What normal people wear?

The new Sally Rooney book came out this week, and the world kept turning on its axis, unscathed by the twin forces of hype and vitriol that preceded its release (why are people hating on Rooney?).

Although it was still shaken to its core by the Rooney bucket hat, a canary yellow affair embroidered with the book’s title. Part Ian Brown, part 30 Rock’s Frank Rossitano, this hypebeasty promotional item (part of a giveaway if you pre-ordered the book) is the opposite of Rooney, whose self-effacement leads you to imagine she’d rather die than wear yellow, a bucket hat or anything with words on. Is literary merch the new band merch? In a word, no.

Brooklyn’s on the boil

Is Brooklyn Beckham rebranding as a chef? Over the summer, a series of videos has appeared on his Instagram showing Brooklyn ladling stock into a creamy risotto with crab or seasoning his Brooklyn Burger — presumably his signature dish — with enough salt to provoke a coronary.

‘MY FAVOURITE,’ loyal fiancée Nicola Peltz posted in the comments under his summer roll, a vid that prompted a long debate about the omission of coriander. We await the opening of Brooklyn’s Of Mayfair with baited breath.

Suranne Jones

Brilliant in everything, most lately in Vigil
and I Am….

Hot dogs

Eating one could take 36 minutes off your life, according to a new study. Don’t pass the mustard.