Police called on Hallam students who were leafleting at a student halls
The police were called by a security guard to The Gate accommodation on Eyre Lane
The police were called on a group of Sheffield Hallam students who were out leafleting as part of their campaign for the Students’ Union elections.
Zac Larkham and his campaign team went to The Gate accommodation to hand out leaflets, when a security guard called the police saying that they weren’t allowed to be there.
The campaigners argued that they were doing nothing wrong and that no crime was being committed.
A video, filmed by one of the students, shows four police officers arriving at the accommodation.
In the footage, the police officers ask the campaigners to leave, saying: “Do you have permission to do this? You need to leave.”
One officer said: “This isn’t a public place, this is a private residence.”
The video then shows the group leaving the halls, followed by a further conversation with the officers.
The campaigners are showed questioning the police officers and asking why they were being called out by them, to which an officer said “you’ve been asked to leave, and you’ve not done so.”
One campaigner told The Sheffield Tab: “It’s made us really angry that Hallam don’t ensure the companies they work with train their staff properly and end up putting their own students at risk of harm.
“We’re really lucky that all of us have had training to deal with the police but were left wondering, what if it happened to someone else?”
One campaigner in the video makes an additional claim that the security guard racially profiled a student.
The people who run The Gate accommodation, a company called Fresh, were quick to deny these allegations.
Mark Cordin from Fresh told The Sheffield Tab: “We fully support the student democratic process and respect the importance of student unions, but our residents have very clearly asked us to make sure anyone who is not a resident, or visiting a resident, is challenged and leaves our residents’ home.
“We have reviewed what happened with our teams and security cameras and can see no evidence to support the group’s claims. the police were only called after the group refused to leave when asked.”
The South Yorkshire Police have said that no crime was recorded at this time and therefore cannot comment on this issue.
In light of this event, one of Zac’s manifesto pledges is to keep “Cops off Campus”. He told The Sheffield Tab: “Police have no business in student halls. During lockdown they were able to enter flats without permission or a warrant and intimidate students in their own homes.
“We need campuses that are safe for students, not ones where students can be harassed and threatened whilst police attempt to subvert the course of democracy.”