Crime in Lancaster under serious review due to concerns over the safety of students

Concerns have been raised over domestic violence, street drunkenness and anti-social behaviour

It has been revealed that the district of Lancaster has the fifth-highest rate of serious violence in Lancashire, while Lancaster City Centre reports the highest volume of incidents locally.

Concerns are being raised about students as the council meetings have seen issues raised around alleged spikings in bars and nightclubs, the behaviour of door staff and reported assaults on several Lancaster University students, the Lancaster Guardian reports.

Lancaster and Morecambe counsellors are carrying out a review of the district’s actions to prevent criminal activity including violence, arson and anti-social behaviour.

The review will look at the actions that police and local organisations are taking to prevent crime, including increased police presence on the streets, and increased funding and educational programs to help young people to recognise and protect themselves from criminal behaviour.

Measures are already being taken to prevent fear of crime, which includes updates on police activity and improved city and town centre CCTV systems being set up. Lancaster and Morecambe College are doing work to educate young people on the dangers of spending and reckless driving. Concerns are also being raised around arson as Lancaster Fire Services are seeing an increased number of deliberate fires being set in abandoned buildings and waste bins.

A Community Safety Partnership has been formed of various government and community groups. Organisations include police, fire and health service, voluntary groups and the local business community.

A new report says that the Partnership and its West Lancashire counterpart have received £288,000 funding combined. The report announced that the funding will go towards bystander awareness training programmes aimed at students, alongside additional CCTV cameras being placed in “hotspot areas for violent offences”.

The report said: “It is reassuring that the work by the local neighbourhood policing teams around education, rather than enforcement, has seen a decrease in the number of complaints received. Over the last 12 months targeted work has been undertaken with the very small minority of individuals who continually breach the restrictions, causing residents to feel unsafe.”

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