Claim university is “severely lacking” in tackling crime challenged


The university has taken flak for allegedly not doing enough to combat alcohol-related crime in the area. Photo: Shane Croucher

Bizarre allegations from a local councillor that the University of Lincoln is “severely lacking” in combating alcohol and violent crime are receiving criticism.

Lincoln City Councillor Paul Grice, chairman of the policy development scrutiny committee, submitted a report criticising the university to full council on Wednesday, February 23rd.

The report claims the university needs to do more to make Lincoln “a nice place to go out in”, alleging it’s currently slack in its efforts to combat alcohol-related crime. Cllr Grice’s report cites the Home Office, which found that Lincoln is the 6th worst place in the country for alcohol and violent crime.

However, Mark Garthwaite, an inspector for Lincolnshire Police, said: “If we are talking about alcohol-related violent crime then our figures would suggest that students are no more responsible for these offences than locals or people from outside the City boundaries. Certainly on an average Friday and Saturday night our cells are not disproportionately occupied by students.”

National statistics show that students are more likely to be the victims than perpetrators of crime. One in three students are the victims of crime, according to the Home Office.

Karen Lee, city councillor for the Carholme ward, disgrees with Cllr Grice’s assertions. “I think it’s unfair. I think it’s very ill-informed, and I just think it just paints a very one-sided picture to say that the university doesn’t get involved with the community and doesn’t attend community meetings and events,” she says.

Alcohol-related and violent crime isn’t the university’s problem, she says: “Just because it’s late at night and someone’s noisy and drunk doesn’t mean a) that they have to be a student or b) that it’s a university issue. It’s a law and order issue and it’s something that the police or the anti-social behaviour team do deal with.”

She also says that the university has a lot of involvement in the local community: “At the moment they have a community meeting at the university, which I do attend, they also attend every single Carholme Community Forum.[…] They supported us with the community gala last year, they put a substantial amount of money in. They also produced all the flyers and some of their students helped out on the day. They did all the sport on the common – they really were very supportive of the local community and got very involved.”

Cllr Lee added that she thinks it’s unfair to say that students are causing all of the problems: “It’s a very skewed picture that Councillor Grice is painting.”

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