How safe is Portswood really?
Kinda not very
Portswood is a popular choice for Soton student living, which makes us think it can't be too bad. However, after almost walking in on a robbery at Champagne Charlie's the other day, I began to wonder if we've been looking at it through the rose-tinted glasses of the quadvods and jesticles waiting for us down the road. So, I decided to do a lil investigation into whether Portswood is actually that safe after all.
Portswood crime rates last month
I had a look at the crime map online, provided by Police.UK, and it generally seems that in comparison to surrounding local areas, Portswood does seem to have a higher crime rate.
The Hollybrook area reported 55 crimes in September 2017, and Swaythling had around 71. Bassett Green reported 28 crimes, which in comparison to Portswood’s 131 is pretty much non-existent.
Which areas are the worst?
On closer inspection, it appears that the areas around St Deny’s, Tennyson Road and Westridge seem to have the majority of these incidences, as well as further down Portswood Road. The most common crimes in September were anti-social behaviour (10 convictions), violent and sexual assault (11) and shoplifting (14).
Is crime in Portswood increasing?
According to UKCrimeStats, in general, the crime in Portswood fluctuates but is remaining stable over time. Anti-social behaviour spiked to 183 cases in April of this year, and violent crime hit 140 in June, but it seems to have levelled out a bit more, so no need to panic that crime is getting drastically worse.
Southampton in general
It’s pretty much common knowledge that Southampton has a higher than average crime rate in general, so we shouldn’t be too surprised at the levels in Portswood. In terms of cities nationwide, we are just lower than Portsmouth, and are followed by Bristol, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Leeds. The crime rate has been increasing for Soton, but this reflects national averages, so isn't specific to our area.
So, what does this mean?
At the end of the day, Portswood has a lot to offer. The majority of the people reading this have either lived in, or will live in Portswood at one point in their lives, and have been/will be absolutely fine. But it is worth keeping a note of. Southampton does have a higher level of crime, and a lot of it seems to be linked to antisocial behaviour and violent/sexual assaults, so our advice would be to take measures to keep safe.
How to stay safe
There are some ways we suggest to keep you safe in Portswood (or just generally tbh). You've probably heard all of this before, but it's worth taking into consideration.
Don’t walk home alone
If you decide to walk back after a night out, make sure you are with someone. You are much more likely to be a victim of crime if you are walking alone. In general, it is better to call a taxi or get a bus than walk anyway, but if it's absolutely necessary, please don't do it by yourself.
Ensure your house is locked up before you leave
This is common knowledge, but it is easy to forget. It goes without saying that people are going to find it much easier to break into your house if your front door is unlocked…
Stick to well-lit areas
It is getting dark super early at the moment, and you may be walking back from your lecture at 5:00 in complete darkness. Try and stick to areas with streetlighting, and avoid unlit back routes.
Tell people where you're going and who you're with
If something did happen, it would be much more useful if your friends had a vague idea of where you are.
If you know you're going to have to go home alone, make sure you don't drink too much
Know your limits, and make sure you're sober enough to get home safely
Charge your phone before you leave
Make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave. It gives you the opportunity to call a mate or a taxi if you need picking up.