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In a small survey carried out by SCAN, students gave Lancaster University an overwhelming high rating in terms of safety. 46 percent of the 48 respondents rated the Bailrigg campus at 10 out of 10 for how safe they felt. 94 percent of students responded with at least eight out of 10.
Asked how safe they felt on nights out in Lancaster city centre, only 10 percent of respondents gave a 10 out of 10 rating. However, 79 percent gave a rating of at least seven out of 10.
Given the small amount of respondents, it is difficult to know how representative these figures are. However, the data would seem to support Lancaster’s reputation for safety.
The University’s Community Beat Manager PC Gary Wynne confirmed that Lancaster and the University are a “low crime area,” which accounts for the positive response from students.
Further comments from respondents were illuminating. A fifth of students highlighted the area around the new Sports Centre, including the football and rugby pitches, the trim trail and the pathways leading down from Bowland College, as needing safety improvements.
“[The] walk from [the] Sports Centre back to campus [feels unsafe] – especially the path through the woods. There is no proper lighting and I wouldn’t walk it at night,”said one student.
Another student commented that “you wouldn’t be able to see easily if someone was following you.”
It would seem that steps are being taken to rectify this. Lancaster City Councillor Jonathan Dixon, who represents the University Ward, informed SCAN that the Sports Centre Car Park Users Group had been informed of the issue. Dixon added that the Group’s meeting minutes from 7th November state that they are “currently drawing up proposals for low level lighting for all footpaths leading to the centre.”
This is pending City Council agreement with light pollution and procedures of that manner which is the norm,” Dixon said.
However, a statement from the University Press Office pointed out that “the Sports Centre Car Park has successfully achieved a Park Mark Award having been independently assessed by the Police and an outside awarding body. An essential criteria of the award included the safety aspect of the car park including CCTV and lighting.”
This statement, of course, pertains most specifically to the Sports Centre’s car park rather than the surrounding area.
Other areas which drew comment from students included South West Campus and the area outside the Library.