September 25, 2014, by offcampus
A Welcome from the Police and Crime Commissioner
We’re delighted to welcome the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner back to the Off Campus Blog today with some words of welcome and some advice for returning students.
After a long and mostly warm summer, a new academic year is upon us and Nottinghamshire will once again be welcoming hundreds of new students to City life. I’m very proud of the place we call home and can fully appreciate the attraction drawing so many young people to study here – after all, I was a student here myself many moons ago.
The City’s nightlife is vibrant and there’s also a good mix of cultural activities to keep everybody interested. Getting the balance right between study and fun can be a little tricky at first but most students find that university life settles down and they remain academically productive after the initial fresher excitement.
As Commissioner, it’s my responsibility to make sure our new arrivals and those who’ve called the City home for many years are safe on a night out. Student life is what makes Nottingham so lively and colourful and I’ve been keen from the outset to embrace this side of the City. But we know that young people can be disproportionately affected by crime and this in many instances is linked to alcohol use. In light of this, we’re working hard to protect those enjoying a night out and to make sure their safety is paramount.
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with the University of Nottingham Students’ Union over the launch of CCTV cameras in City taxis. This project has long been on the cards as one of my pre-election pledges and is one of only a few up and running in the UK. I’m deeply grateful to the Student’s Union for their support in publicising this initiative and highlighting once again personal safety among our young residents.
This scheme was advocated by students and community groups and is administered by Nottingham City Council as part of their licensing arrangements. Taxi drivers pay £100 for the cameras which are fitted in the front and back of their cabs – and can pay a further £20 for the audio. My office itself has funded £95,000 towards the project with the aim of reducing crimes such as assault and racist abuse. Such funding is worth every penny if it delivers just one less victim of crime.
It is a two-way relationship, however, and we’re hoping that students new and old will play their part too in keeping our City safe. Nobody wants to be a party pooper and remove the fun from our night spots but we are asking for young people to be sensible about the volume of drink they consume and to pay close attention to their personal safety.
Alcohol misuse by young people carries many risks. These are not just limited to health and personal safety but also academic attainment and relationships.
We are working hard to address the whole range of consequences inappropriate alcohol use can bring but we urge our young community to also help themselves. Don’t risk walking home alone when you can easily get a taxi, always plan ahead to avoid putting yourself at risk. And if drinking is becoming a problem, seek help early. Excessive alcohol can create both offenders and victims, take care not to become either.