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Our response to claims that Brighton is the 'most dangerous spot for students'

We want to reassure students that being a student in the city is generally safe and let you know about work we’re doing to help students be and feel safer after a recent survey named Brighton as the “most dangerous spot for students”.

The survey, covered by a few media outlets, reports that students in Brighton have the highest levels of recorded crime in 2014 in unspecified “student housing areas” which exclude the campus and Lewes Road area. It goes on to say that Brighton has the highest incidence of sexual assault. The statistics refer to all crimes committed, not solely those committed against students.

In a statement, Inspector Simon Morgan of Sussex Police said:

These figures are extremely misleading as the students in this city centre area are only a fraction of those within the city. In reality figures show that crimes per thousand residents in Brighton between February 2014 and January 2015 are 80, whereas Cambridge which is 86 and Oxford is 87.7

We know that some issues, such as sexual violence and general safety, affect our students (though not disproportionately to other universities). We run a number of campaigns and projects to address these issues including challenging common misconceptions.

We have been working to educate students about what constitutes sexual violence and harassment. We want to reduce tolerance of these and empower people who have experienced them by challenging ‘victim-blaming’ narratives that deflect blame from the assailant. This may have resulted in an increase in these crimes being reported to the police.

We have become a Hate Crime reporting centre to enable people who experience harassment linked to a protected characteristic, such as their gender identity or sexual identity, to report this to us if they would rather not report it directly to the police.

We also undertake preventative work. Our I Heart Consent campaign, runs workshops to ensure that students are properly informed about what is and is not sexual consent, as well as taking steps to encourage students to intervene if they witness people being harassed. We are expanding this campaign next year, making consent classes available to all students who wish to make use of them.

We also provide a scheme for students who have no cash on a night out to take a taxi for free, and staff and volunteers who work past midnight at the Students' Union are given the opportunity to make use of free taxis home. 

If there are any particular safety issues you are concerned about and that you think we should work on please let us know. You can contact Rianna, Welfare Officer - welfare@sussexstudent.com

Reporting a crime

If you are a victim of crime you can report it to the Police:

You should always call 999 immediately if:

  • A crime is being committed now
  • The offender is still there or nearby
  • People are injured, being threatened or in danger

In a non-emergency you can call 101 (calls cost a flat rate of 15p per call) or visit your local police station.

You can report a number of crimes, including theft, online via the Sussex Police website.

If you’re on campus you can call the University’s 24 hour security team - 01273 678323, use one of the emergency phones on campus or visit them in York House.

If you’ve been a victim of a hate crime you can report this on campus via our Support & Advocacy team or elected officers. You can do so anonymously if you want to and do not have to plan to press charges. Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation and/or transgender identity.

 

Contact us

Got a comment/criticism about anything discussed in this article? Let us know on our social media channels!

facebook.com/thestudentsunion

twitter.com/ussu

instagram.com/sussexsu

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