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.

An image of the green space Bede Park
An overview look on the popular open green space, Bede Park located in Westcotes

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.”

‘Homeless people are just like everyone else – they’re just having a tough time. We want to help them & give them a second chance’

Riverside Café has partnered with Change Please to tackle homelessness in the UK – through their love of good quality coffee. Maryam Goncalves reports.

Change Please launch at Riverside Café

Riverside Café, one of the coffee shops in the DMU campus, has recently partnered with Change Please, a social enterprise which invests 100% of their profits into making the lives of those experiencing homelessness better, by giving them a living wage job, training, housing, and opportunities to progress.

Change Please CEO, Cemal Ezel, was at Riverside on Wednesday, January 26, to explain the enterprise, the coffee, and the lives they have changed.

Ezar talked about one of the most impactful cases he has ever seen – the case of Adan Abobaker, a former homeless man who jumped into a frozen river Thames to rescue a woman who attempted to commit suicide.

After risking his life, having his clothes and possessions stolen, and contracting hypothermia due to the low temperatures he braved, Abobaker was presented with the highest civilian award for bravery.

The former chef then shared a flat with his partner, thinking his life was coming back together. But the relationship came to an end, and Abobaker found himself back on the streets while battling depression.

This is when Change Please came along and offered Abobaker a part-time job as a barista on a coffee cart in Borough Market, London, which gave him a second chance to improve his quality of life.

“It’s incredible that we can walk past someone like Adan on the street and we don’t stop to think who they are or what value they can have on society,” Cemal Ezel told the crowd at Riverside.

“In Adan’s case, he won the highest civilian award for bravery and is a real hero. Yet because he was on the street he was disregarded with the same stigma as all homeless people.

“Homeless people are just like anyone else – they are people who have fallen on incredibly tough times. Change Please is trying to help as many like Adan as possible – people who we walk past every day – and give them a second chance at life.”

De Montfort asked to supply names of Brexit lecturers by ‘show off’ MP

By Holly Hume


A politics expert has condemned an MP’s request to acquire university teaching material regarding Brexit.

In an interview with the Leicestershire Press, Alistair Jones, Associate Professor of Politics at De Montfort University, who last year published Britain and the European Union (2nd edition), speaks about Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris’ letter to UK universities.

The letter requested a list of names of those who teach Brexit and access to those teaching materials.


Alistair Jones, Politics lecturer at De Montfort University

The MP later claimed the purpose of the letter was for personal research toward writing a European history book. Many Universities have denied the MP of this information on the grounds his behaviour is, what academics are calling, McCarthyite.

The Vice Chancellor of De Montfort University, Dominic Shellard, has now confirmed that whilst a list of teachers and syllabi was compiled, the results were not sent off to Mr Heaton-Harris.




Jon Snow tweets appreciation for DMU Investigative Journalism MA

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By Mollie Mansfield

Legendary journalist and present Jon Snow has tweeted in support of De Montfort’s Investigative Journalism MA.

The MA, that is endorsed by Channel 4, is set to launch for the first time this September.

Jon Snow tweeted: “If you are interested in becoming an investigative reporter we’ve teamed up with ‪ http://www.dmu.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduate-courses/investigative-journalism/investigative-journalism.aspx If u r interested do talk to them!”

The course is set to cover areas such as techniques of in-depth research, including handling complex data, understanding financial information, working undercover, financial information, using freedom of information, the law, compliance and safety, alongside filming and editing.

Students will also learn how to produce investigative stories, including how to identify, pitch, research and film them.

Talking to Channel 4, Dorothy Byrne, Head of Channel 4 News and Current Affairs and Visiting Professor in Media Discourse at DMU, said: “t’s vital for the future of investigative television journalism that we train up a new generation and widen the pool of talent to include people from diverse backgrounds.”

“Quite a number of people have general television making skills, but lack the sort of specialist knowledge required.”

The MA launches this year, for more information head here.

DMU students organise dystopian film festival

By Beth Mosettig

A dystopian film festival is launched by a group of DMU students at The Phoenix Cinema on March 17-20.

The festival is organised by around 20 second year Film Studies students at De Montfort University.

The course works closely with the cinema with the festival being part of a module for the degree.

Stuart Peters, a Film Studies student who is part of the group, said: “Last year’s festival featured films on rebellion, however, we wanted to have a more art house style with our project as there are many cult films on the theme of a dystopian world.”

The group wanted to show the public more cult films centered on a dystopian theme, with films for all ages.

On the morning of Thursday March 17 there is a school screening of Wall.E for the younger audience that has already sold out.

The event is also hosting some popular recent films with a screening of Mad Max Fury Road in 3D with a DJ set afterwards coordinated to run in time with the music in the film.

As well as film and full English breakfast included on Sunday March 20 at midday with the film Silent Running.

Mr Peters went on to say: “It’s really cool to have a working partnership with the cinema and the students as you can get experience behind the scenes as well as at the front.”

You can find out more information on their Facebook page Dystopian Film Festival or their twitter @filmfestphoenix