Cathays is once again the UK’s most dangerous student area, according to new research

900 crimes were committed in October 2023 alone


Cathays has been named the most dangerous student area for another year running, according to new research.

This is according to findings by the Internet of Learning which showed 32.5 crimes were committed per 100 people in the area.

Of the crimes committed, 31 per cent were categorised as either violent or sexual.

The data also showed that Cathays has the second-highest rate of shoplifting out of all UK student areas with 1592 cases reported in the last year. There were also 416 bicycle thefts in the same period.

In 2022, South Wales Police crime statistics revealed October 2023 to be the worst month for crime last year with 842 crimes committed that month alone.

Additionally, South Wales Police have reported that around 20 per cent of crimes committed in Cathays were unable to be prosecuted over the past year and 46 per cent of investigations were closed without a suspect being identified.

A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of our students is paramount, and we ensure every effort is taken to keep them safe.

“That’s why it’s important that these figures are put into context and to stress that they relate to acts committed in the University’s immediate location of Cathays. Such crimes may not be against or involve students.

“Cardiff is Wales’s capital city, the largest city in Wales and one of the largest cities in the UK. The University is physically based in the city centre near to one of Europe’s most thriving night-time economies. The city also plays host to some of the UK’s biggest sporting and music events, attracting thousands of visitors. Therefore, there is no fair comparison between Cathays and other parts of the city or other parts of Wales.

“However, we are not complacent and recognise that acts of crime do occur. That’s why we have developed a proactive, University-wide approach to addressing these issues, which acknowledges the prevalence of violence and abuse in society.

“We work in close partnership with Cardiff University Students’ Union and other key community partners including Cardiff Council and South Wales Police and have developed key initiatives designed to help safeguard students’ personal safety at night. These are available to Cardiff University students. They are directly communicated and outlined on our student intranet.

“We work in close partnership with Cardiff University Students’ Union and other key community partners including Cardiff Council and South Wales Police and have developed key initiatives designed to help safeguard students’ personal safety at night. These are available to Cardiff University students. They are directly communicated and outlined on our student intranet.

“Initiatives include the Safe Taxi Scheme to help students get home safely on nights out and the Student Safety Walk project which supports students who may feel uncomfortable getting home alone late at night. Volunteers offer a walking service to students on selected evenings, providing security, advice, and referrals to other services such as the Safety Bus and Safe Taxi Scheme.

“We also have tight safety measures in place at all our halls of residences and University buildings. We have dedicated 24-hour security with CCTV coverage of the majority of our University buildings. Free personal safety alarms are also available from our security team and the University has also invested in the SafeZone safety app. The app is a quick and easy way to alert University security or South Wales Police when help or assistance is needed.

“When students are on campus, SafeZone can show you where you are on a map. It also allows students to communicate with our security officers via text message.

“As part of our response to incidents of violence, we have introduced an online disclosure tool so that students can disclose their experiences. This allows a student to identify themselves or remain anonymous if that is their wish.

“Students making an identified disclosure receive practical advice and support from a team of trained Disclosure Response Advisors who can help to manage immediate or ongoing safety concerns; listen and talk directly to students outlining options available for both specialist support and reporting; and provide practical advice on housing, finance, or studies. They can also prioritise appointments for students who have experienced an incident of violence and/or abuse in the past 72 hours and may wish to preserve forensic evidence.

“Students disclosing anonymously help us form a clearer picture of the problems that universities – as a microcosm of wider society – face.”

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