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‘I felt so scared’: Students express fear and outrage at lack of student safety

Students respond to stabbing in Selly Oak

Students have expressed their distress at the lack of safety provisions in Selly Oak, following a brutal stabbing incident in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Many have voiced concerns that not enough is done to make students feel safe in their own homes. One resident of Heeley Road, the scene of the crime, told The Birmingham Tab, “Being woken up by the police an hour after I got in from Fab to be alerted to the homicide on my doorstep, I felt genuinely so scared at the real possibility that it could have been me.”

Amy Pajak, another student, said “I strongly feel the issue of security in Selly Oak isn’t being addressed enough by neither the police nor the university.” She went on to contact West Midlands Police and the Guild of Students President Reece Roberts expressing her concern.

Roberts addressed these concerns in the first Officer Question Time of the academic year, stating: “time and time again we are offered empty promises and empty solutions”, and that, “we feel that the university can do more.”

Talking of the prospect of a night bus for students in Selly Oak, Roberts said: “I can confirm that that bus has been secured.” He stated that the original start date for the bus of Monday 29th October was in review due to recent events, to potentially be brought forward to Monday 15th October.

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Guild President Reece Roberts and Welfare and Community Officer Izzy Bygrave launch a petition to improve safety in Selly Oak

In a post on the University of Birmingham student intranet, the University stated “our thoughts are with the victim and his family and friends at this difficult time.”

“The safety of students is of critical importance, and the University is working closely with the Police and the Guild to respond to safety concerns and took part in a joint meeting on Monday morning (8th October)…Following this incident, there will be a further visibly increased police presence to reassure residents in the area.”

Students affected by the incident or who want to talk to someone are encouraged to come to the Aston Webb Student Hub. Following student feedback, five Special Constables now patrol campus in partnership with the Police and part-funded by the University. Further measures to increase student safety are being discussed and will be announced in the coming weeks.