Portswood Paranoia

Recent spates of crime leaves many worried about their safety in the evenings walking around Portswood. Danielle Gascoine feels that the Street Light discussion should be re-opened!

Street lights like this along all the paths and roads around Southampton would make it much safer for people walking home.

Recent stories in the Soton Tab will have informed you about the likes of the Portswood Pervert, the Portswood Flasher and many incidents of crime within the Portswood area. The statistics speak for themselves and are worrying, especially with the imminent closure of the local police station. So with it getting dark at around 4pm these days and impending deadlines meaning many students staying late in the library, how safe is that 25 minute walk home from Hartley?

In recent walks home from the library in the dark, I personally have seen myself becoming very paranoid to the extent that I refrain from listening to my i-pod, turn my phone on silent, make sure my bag is firmly attached to my side and walk at such a pace that the recent chill leaves no impact on me. It’s when I get to Portswood high street that I realise actually its only 5.30pm and the likelihood of me getting attacked on a busy road filled with people commuting home from work and students returning home or shopping is very small and decide to slow the pace a bit before I overheat in my winter coat and hat.

Then comes the dreaded part of my journey; Gordon Avenue and Livingstone Rd. Home to many students, home to a body of crime, this particular stretch of journey has a lack of street lighting that makes the quiet last few roads of my journey seem much eerier and threatening. The inability to see who else is on the road stirs up my paranoia. It is at this point, I decide to pick up my pace again.

Speaking to fellow female students, it is obvious that the recent stint of crimes within the area has had an effect. One student went home to collect her car so she no longer has to walk home from the library in the dark and another discusses how she waited 20 minutes for the safety bus on campus because she felt 9.30pm was too late for her to walk home on her own.

Now we’re all guilty of happily wandering about at 3 in the morning when we have no money for a cab because we just had to buy that late night/early morning subway. But as so many seem to be concerned about walking around Portswood at reasonable times of the day, I felt it was time to re-awaken the street lighting petition.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/portswoodstreetlighting/ is the website you need to sign the petition to get more lights onto the streets of Portswood. Even if you do not live on these roads, I’m sure you know someone that does so help a friend out and sign the petition.