- Editorial, Nick Gibbs
The Sheffield Slaughter Continues, 5th Stabbing Death from 22 Attacks in 2018.
I’m sorry to pick on Sheffield. I just happened to stumble upon these figures in working on another news story. I expect you could apply similarly disturbing numbers to many urban areas of Britain.
The point is that I have received a steady flow of emails and calls from the UK press recently, all with one thing on their mind. How ‘bad’ is Ibiza, and will ‘all the violence’ stop the tourists coming. It is seriously grinding my gears because by any standard of comparison with Britain, Ibiza has absolutely nothing to feel we need to defend.
The Sheffield Comparison
Some perspective figures …
- Population of Sheffield, 500k.
- Population of Ibiza, from 400k peak season to 150k out of season.
- To keep the sums easy let’s call it 250k average, and that wouldn’t be too far out.
- So Ibiza equals half of Sheffield, and of course we have a disproportionate number of young people during their most exuberant time of year.
So far in 2018 Sheffield has had 22 knife attacks that have killed 5 and injured 23.
Just knife attacks. So that doesn’t include additional death from fights gone wrong, drug overdoses, shootings and any number of other violent crimes.
Can you imagine if Ibiza had our proportion of that? 11 knife attacks and several death as a result?
Can you imagine things being that bad here? I really can’t.
Can you imagine what the press would make of it? I certainly can.
Ibiza would be portrayed as a slaughterhouse of mad max-esque horror. It would be a constant in the British national press.
But have you heard of the Sheffield knife attack problem? I am going to guess that unless you live in the Sheffield local news area, or have connections to the city, you probably have not.
The difference – ‘brand Ibiza’
We do not respond to most of the UK reporters’ enquiries. There is nothing in it for Ibiza or for the Ibizan. In exchange for no benefit we would risk falling into one of the tricks and traps of language they employ to get the copy they want.
I did talk to the BBC last Monday. I know I can challenge misrepresentation with the BBC in a way I cannot with the tabloids, they are perhaps less drama focused than most, and being honest about it there is also the fact that they do pay a modest fee. Not much, but enough to take the time.
The BBC reporter asked me whether the number of deaths this year would stop people coming to Ibiza.
I asked her how many deaths it would take to stop people going to London? To me it seems so obvious to point out the irrationality of her question. That they are pointing to a record of criminal fatalities as a problem, when that record would in probability put Ibiza below the vast majority of British Urban areas. The reporter did not see it that way and she seemed taken aback by my reply, like ‘how could you apply that same logic back at Britain’?
A Death Less Ordinary
This all boils down to that ‘brand Ibiza’ thing. A death here is somehow ‘sexier’ than a death in Sheffield. I know that is a weird way of putting it, but it is the truth of the matter. As far as the press are concerned, a death in Ibiza is more interesting, more engaging. more juicy, than a stabbing in Sheffield.
Ibiza should never forget how much it has benefited from the global reputation it has earned as the hedonistic heart of the international music and party lifestyle. There are those in P.R. would would argue that even this materially negative publicity of fatalities in recent weeks is good publicity. Whether or not that is the case, it does not hurt to stop and remind ourselves that this media attention is simply an extension of that. Ibiza is not a killing zone, we have not suddenly developed a culture of violence, we do not need to walk our streets in fear.
All that is happening is the media treatment of one death in Ibiza being worth many in the U.K. – as crass and distasteful as it is to say, that is what it comes down to.
You can read of the sad state of affairs in Sheffield below. But those of us who live in Ibiza don’t need reminding what a safe place Ibiza is.