Head of DMU security reassures students and urges them not spread unconfirmed rumours on social media

By Emily Barker

The head of security at De Montfort University (DMU) believes “social media rumours” are adding to the anxiety amongst students, following the recent Bede Park attacks.

Kevin Burrows reassured students that measures such as extra security patrols had been put in place to add to existing 24-hour monitoring of the area but believes untrue rumours had made people’s fears worse.

He made the comments after a month which has seen two robberies, an assault and a public order offence in the well-used university thoroughfare.

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This week, students have called for better lighting to be installed in the park, which is often used at night by those returning from the pubs and clubs in town.

But Mr Burrows has urged people not to spread unverified reports of incidents in and around Bede Park.

He said: “Rumours have caused anxiety among students.

“The DMU campus is covered with state of the art and HD CCTV cameras, over 500, including two in Bede Park.

 

 

“We also have patrolling security officers 24 hours a day.

“Furthering this, DMU have a campus PC and PCSO, who are a part of Leicestershire Police.”

A spokesperson from DMU echoed the call, advising anyone with knowledge of suspicious activity to go to the police or campus security rather than social media channels.

Bede Park falls under the location of Westcotes, Leicestershire, and during the month of August 2018, there were 264 crimes reported in this area, of which only four crimes were reported from Bede Park (police.uk).

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Ellen Burbidge, Media Relations Officer at Leicestershire Police, said: “I can confirm in this month (October) there have been two robberies, an assault and a public order offence.

“I can confirm that extra police patrols have been put in place, key messages have been issued to students, officers are working with the university and a meeting has been arranged next Monday (29 October) between police and key partners to discuss the issues surrounding the park and how best to address them.”

Rebecca Robson, 19, a second-year Biomedical Science student, said: “It’s pretty scary, but as long as you’re careful and sensible, you should be okay.

“Better lighting and police presence throughout the park might help, but I’m just hoping that things will calm down by themselves.”

Keira Jones, 21, a final year Textile Design student, said: “I think it’s bad the university aren’t doing more to promote lighting, especially for safety.

“I definitely think floodlights are needed on the field.”

Anyone who is a victim of crime or witnesses a crime is encouraged to report it to the police. They should call 999 in an emergency.

ADT Taxis, the university approved taxi service, has agreed fixed fares when travelling to or from the DMU Campus to certain locations. Read the full statement here:  https://www.demontfortsu.com/news/article/dsu/DSU-working-in-partnership-with-key-partners-to-keep-students-safe/

Leicestershire police have recently issued a witness appeal, regarding one of the incidents. You can see this here: https://leics.police.uk/news-appeals/news/2018/10/25/cctv-issued-following-leicester-street-robbery

More tips from the Leicestershire Police can be found at https://leics.police.uk/advice-and-information/crime-prevention/personal-safety/out-and-about on how to stay safe and protect yourself when out and about.

 

ADVICE FROM THE POLICE

The chances of becoming a victim of crime is low however, it’s important to heed basic safety advice and use common sense when out and about.

By taking sensible precautions, you can reduce the risk of becoming a subject of crime.

Stay to well-lit areas when out late at night and into the early hours of the morning, and if possible, arrange with others to walk in groups.

Be aware of your surroundings and if you feel unsafe change your direction. Use well lit, busy streets and a route you are familiar with.

For more information about staying safe, visit the force website Crime Prevention page https://leics.police.uk/advice-and-information/crime-prevention/personal-safety/out-and-about

 

The balancing act between sports and university work as the new academic year comes round

By Alexandra Smith

Success for De Montfort University lacrosse players comes with a price to pay as the struggle to balance hours of training with studying for a degree increases.

With sessions starting as early as seven in the morning and finishing at nine in the evening its hard to find the balance with that of educational studies, not forgetting competing for the university once a week and being involved with the social aspects of the team.lacrosse development game

On the other hand, if the balance between work and sports is found, the results can be rewarding to the student and the university.

In the UK, sport is embedded in the tradition of a university. As well as being an opportunity for those to compete at a higher level for their sport, it acts as a gateway for meeting new faces and gaining contacts for the future.

Angela Clements, (21) welfare advisor for DMU women’s lacrosse said: “People always say they haven’t got time to be in a sports team but its a nice balance with studies, it helps with your mental health and it’s just a bonus that your start to get fitter too.”

But as the work begins to pile up, the lacrosse players say they need to consider whether the time spent playing for their team is cutting into their studies.

“It’s difficult as a social secretary for my team to be able to keep on top of my work as well as keep the society running as well as it does.” Said Beth Surridge, (19) social secretary of De Montfort University snow sports.

“Training gets in the way of my lectures, so I have to use my own time to catch up, it’s difficult but I manage to do it because its what I want to do.”

Being able to compete in sporting events at this level requires not only skill but also the motivation to carry out hours of training alongside exams, lectures and allowing time to meet up with tutors for study opportunities.

“As an English student, my classes can be quite sporadic, which makes it a little hard to maintain a schedule to work on my assignments.” said Emer Walsh, (22) Captain of the DMU women’s lacrosse team. “While training takes up a lot of time, it’s a weekly commitment that forces me to plan out my work properly so that i can be free for every session.”

Fellow team member Joanna Lingard (20) believes those who aren’t in sporting and even social committees may not understand the dedication needed to keep up with an academic timetable so as to not be in constant ‘catch-up’ mode.

But she said: “Don’t forget that students that are involved in sports signed up for this and, in doing that, chose to live this lifestyle.”

Catch our Facebook Live – the Brexit debate

Brexit – we can’t escape it. It’s permanently on our news channels every day.

With the clock ticking towards Brexit Day on March 29, 2019, however, have people’s viewpoints changed since the June 2016 Referendum?

Leicestershire Press reporters did a series of Facebook Live bulletins finding out just what people on the De Montfort University campus think about the issue.

Watch them on our Facebook site.

Leicester night walkers raise money for cancer charity

By Conor de Smith.

The streets of Leicester were illuminated by hundreds of people taking part in the city’s first Shine Night Walk in aid of Cancer Research on Saturday.

More than 800 glowing walkers came together at the weekend to raise more than £40,000 in crucial funds for Cancer Research UK.

The 10k walk started at 7pm at De Montfort University and passed landmarks such as Leicester Cathedral, the Clock Tower, New Walk and Victoria Park before ending back at the university.

Those who took part could raise money for 12 different areas of research such as bowel cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer and other forms of the disease. It cost £14.99 to enter and additional fundraising could be organised by walkers through the charity.

Heather Royrhorne-Finch, of Asfordby, launched the event with a starting horn. The 38-year-old programmes and relations manager for the civil service was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2009 while her sister and father have also survived the disease.

“It was a real honour because there are very few people lucky enough not to have been affected by cancer so it could easily have been someone else sharing their cancer story,” said Heather, who underwent a life-saving stem cell transplant in 2011.

“I was thrilled to be asked to share my story with the 800 people taking part. Every walker has either directly battled cancer or knows someone who has and not all cancer patients are as fortunate as me to have survived.

“Seeing everyone in their glitter, neon and fairy lights setting off into the city was emotional and uplifting,” she continued.

“People getting up and doing something that could benefit them one day but will definitely benefit others is inspiring. The distance doesn’t matter, it’s the effort that is important.”

Every year, more than 1,100 people in Leicester are diagnosed with cancer and there were more than 4,800 cancer patients on GP registers in March 2015.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death, accounting for 25 per cent of all deaths in Leicester and a third of deaths in under 75-year-olds.

Emma Sperring, 37, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2016 and walked with her dad and sister-in-law.

She said: “I really enjoyed the night walk, though it was really hard work, especially the last 1k. The atmosphere was really friendly and motivating.”

DSU houseplant sale attracts buyers

By Tyler Arthur

The De Montfort Students’ Union has been hosting a houseplant sale outside the campus centre this week.

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The sale outside the campus centre

There was a wide variety of plants on offer for students to make their accommodation more homely, ranging from £1.99 for a small Dracaena Lucky Bamboo plant, all the way to a £29.99 Areca.

Students and staff could purchase the plants via cash or card, including contactless, Apple pay and Android pay. The sale ended yesterday (October 25).

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Cute cactuses: For £3.99 you can get a ‘Cactus Mexicano’.