[Laura Slingo | News Editor]
The number of reported violence and sexual offences in the Welwyn Hatfield West region has gradually risen over recent years.
Statistics from the police.uk website for this region show that the average number of reported violence and sexual offences has risen by 75 per cent since 2013.
(Note: January-April 2013 are “violent crimes”. In May 2013 this changed to “violence and sexual offences”.)
Image: Laura Slingo
For November 2015, the number of reported crimes of this type in the area stood at 69, a slight decrease on November 2014’s total (78). However, October 2015 saw the highest recorded number of violence and sexual offences in Welwyn Hatfield West since police.uk started publishing reported crimes within this category in April 2013: 81.
Police stats in this area for 2015 also show that the most common time for these offences to be reported are during the months the University of Hertfordshire is open for study in semesters A and B.
The statistics that are gathered and published monthly by police.uk show that the number of violent and sexual offences in the area could be on the rise, or that perhaps more crimes within this category are actually being reported.
Despite local crime rates being publicised on such a regular basis, statistics of reported crime occurring on the University of Hertfordshire campuses are not recorded on this database. This is likely to be because the University has three separate security outlets which are an initial point of call for student safety and criminal activity.
The University of Hertfordshire Police Team work with and around the University to ensure student safety. Students can stay in contact with the University’s official policing team through Twitter @HertsUniPolice or Facebook. The local officers also work with Hertfordshire’s Students’ Union in their OP annual advisory campaign to raise awareness on how students can keep themselves safe.
The Students’ Union also provides an Advice and Support network to all students to ensure that they are equipped with professional advice and accurate and relevant information for potential and current issues should they feel they need it.
Currently the Students’ Union is looking to establish a more integral relationship with the local policing team and the Safer Neighbourhood Team to ensure that the support network for students is as strong as it can be.