Leicester’s ‘Stabby’ park leaves students fearing for their safety
By Daniel Bellamy
Leicester students are fearing for their safety after sharing concerns over lighting around a popular park route through Bede Park.
The calls for lighting improvements followed a previous initiative shared by the city council in which they aimed to turn Leicester street lights ‘greener’ by using LED alternatives.
Bede Park is the route for many students to and from campus and, more importantly, the route for students to social events at night.
Students and many users of the park nicknamed the space ‘Stabby’ Park referring to knife crimes and other anti-social behaviour that occurs across the park typically when darkness overcasts the area.
On several occasions, including September 24 last year, police cars were parked at the end and sides of the park, not only this, on a couple of mornings police have been spotted at the entrance of the park near a weapon detector gate.
Police were seen around these gates speaking to members of the public in a general manner.
A Leicester City Council spokesperson said: “The lighting provided is in line with permitted lighting levels for public green spaces to ensure a compromise is met between user safety and wildlife/biodiversity on the site, in particular minimal impact on bats.
‘”The site is regularly patrolled by parks wardens. Where there are repeat criminal offences recorded, this creates a profile with local police who then align police patrols in order of need, public safety.”
According to Leicestershire Police crime map data there were 17 reported incidents in September last year when students began arriving, which was a high number for that year.
One student said: “I feel anxious any time my friends ask me out, knowing I have to cross the park as my way to get there.”
The park is set to have CCTV surveillance installed in the future, with additional monitoring making it a safer place.
The city council spokesperson added: “In summary, safety in any site is dependent upon both the common sense informed decisions made by users, together with the provisions and maintenance incorporated into the location. Amalgamated, they contribute to designing out crime and anti-social behaviour wherever reasonably possible within the resources available.”