I can only speak as I find. When the roving winter moorings were in place we chose Trentham for two winters with our car parked in the lay-by nearby. We had zero incidents over quite a few months, absolutely zilch.
We took a mooring at the Black Prince marina one summer when I needed to work, not being over keen on marina life but constrained by my job to staying in a small area we spent a lot of time moored in various locations in and around the marina. Again no incidents.
We also took a winter mooring at Westport Lake once they'd done away with the roving winter moorings - absolutely no problems at all. I'm very surprised to hear about two incidents, one serious here. It's outside Stoke in an affluent newbuild area. Are these first hand reports?
Selfish cycling - endemic over the whole system - Birmingham was probably the scariest place for risking being mown down by the lycra brigade but the Leeds and Liverpool near Chorley was pretty grim as well.
Same with motorcycles on the towpath.
Trouble is if a motorcycle makes a nuisance of itself on the towpath in Braunston (where Carlt had his boat set on fire) they think lordy what an anomaly. If it happens in Stoke the think bloody Stoke - should have known not to moor here. Must tell everyone I know how horrible it is.
My point being that I am very familiar with the area - after we sold the boat we bought a house in Burslem which we lived in for two years. It was my health and the need for family support that brought us back to Kent - I miss our Stokie friends.
I'm sure people do have problems in Stoke, just as they do in many built up areas and occasionally in rural places but Stoke doesn't deserve it's dreadful reputation.
Too much credence is given to second, third or more hand stories that have a huge element of Chinese whispers.