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.


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.



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


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