A NEW scheme has been launched to make sure the city’s university students enjoy a safe and peaceful start to the new year.
As part of Freshers’ Week, which gets underway later this month, Operation SSHH (Silent Students Happy Homes) will be rolled out.
It is a joint project between the University of Worcester, the Students’ Union, Worcestershire County Council and West Mercia Police and a continuation of similar campaigns run by Worcester Students’ Union, which works alongside the university to ensure students behave in a respectful way towards other residents.
The operation will see an increased security and police presence in key areas, while university-based Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will be actively patrolling the areas between 8pm and 4am.
Worcestershire County Council will also be making a financial contribution – which will fund the production and distribution of leaflets and posters – led by St John’s councillor Richard Udall.
“I’m pleased to be able to help with Operation SSHH,” Coun Udall said.
“This is part of a campaign to offer reassurance to the local community and to ensure both residents and students can enjoy a peaceful experience in St John’s.
“Operation SSHH will make it clear to students that they can enjoy Freshers’ Week, but they should do it safely, quietly and with respect for their neighbours who may not always wish to share their fun.”
Last September, the university – which is ranked as one of the safest in the country – announced it would be working alongside West Mercia Police to station two PCSOs across its campuses to assist with crime prevention on University sites and in the surrounding areas, and to keep students and local residents safe.
PCSO Alun Jones said: “Since our introduction in September last year we have been working alongside our colleagues within the University to ensure that students’ welfare issues and safety concerns are met.
“The University of Worcester is a safe environment for students and their presence clearly brings a great deal to the local community.
“We want students have a great Freshers’ Week, while ensuring they stay safe and respect other residents.”
John Ryan, Pro Vice Chancellor (Students), said he was confident the scheme would work well.
“The University is delighted that the original initiative led by our students is now being well supported by our colleagues at West Mercia and Worcestershire County Council,” he said.
“I am sure it will be well received by the community and of course it should also encourage residents who are not students to think about their impact on their neighbours.”