We asked a police inspector how to avoid crime in Lenton
He kept it short and sweet
Moving out of halls and into your own student house can be a massive change, not just in comfort and convenience but also in responsibility. It can be something enjoyable and new, where your house can be a space of your own. It can be liberating and freeing not being under the watchful eyes of hall wardens or security.
However, when left without security in a new neighbourhood with many criminals targeting vulnerable young people, it’s no wonder why many students in areas such as Lenton can feel anxious or unsafe.
It’s easy to assume Lenton is an unsafe hotbed of crime. Recently three people were tragically stabbed on Lenton Boulevard, which again reinforced the idea that Lenton, a place where the vast majority of UoN students call their home, is an unsafe and dangerous place to live.
The issue of crime in Lenton begs several questions. How bad actually is the level of crime? What can be done to prevent crime? What exactly is being done by the local authority to ensure that students have a safe place to live?
Sure, we could have looked at the crime stats online, but we felt some first hand knowledge would give a clearer picture of how crime is being tackled in Lenton. With that in mind, we sat down to meet with Rob Wilson, the area police inspector for Forrest Fields, the city centre and Lenton.
Wilson himself went to university in Nottingham and upon graduation joined the police force. For the past 28 years he has been working as an officer in and around Lenton, meaning when it comes to the issue of student crime in Nottingham, there could not be a better man to take advice from.
Officer Wilson told The Tab that mobile phone theft and home burglaries are the crimes that most effect students, yet he acknowledged that there is no limit to what type of crime students can encounter. For many students, when they go on a night out the likelihood of having things stolen, being a victim of physical or sexual abuse, or being burgled whilst they are away from their homes rises rapidly. The reason criminals act at this time is because it is when a student is most vulnerable.
With that in mind, Officer Wilson outlined some key steps in actively reducing your vulnerability:
- Think about how you’re going to get home after a night out – As long as you have a brief idea of how you’re getting home and who you’re going home with, it’s enough to increase your safety.
- Watch your drinks and make sure you don’t drink too much – Often enough the amount of alcohol we consume is something that many students overlook, but it’s something that may help you avoid crime.
- Take a taxi that’s partnered with your university – Many taxi firms have partnered with the university, so if you don’t have enough money to get home, you can show your student card to the driver and the university will then charge you at a later date and you can get home safely.
- Keep your front and back doors locked – It may seem like an obvious one but 50 per cent of all burglaries in Lenton are in houses where the door had been unlocked before the burglar entered the house.
- Keep your phone on your person – One tactic thieves use to target phones is to distract you as they take your phone off a table or a bar. Make sure you know exactly where your phone is when you’re out.
However, not all is morbid in the world of Lenton. Officer Wilson told The Tab levels of crime in Lenton are not something students should be too worried about on a daily basis. In the past 10 years the levels of crime in the area have gone down by 60 per cent due to better security measures made by students and landlords, better correspondence from students to the police, and better intelligence on criminals in the area.
Nottingham has a very large, vibrant and diverse student population where often enough some students are the perpetrators of crimes as well. However, students who engage in anti-social behaviour are a very small minority according to Wilson. Lenton is a lively and exciting place to live – and with the right attitude and actions, the experience of living there should be vastly more enjoyable than it should be worrying.