Climate of Fear

DATA RECEIVED through the Freedom of Information Act has shown that the largest number of cases of violent assault committed in York City Centre for the past two years occur in the months of October.

In the two-year period that this data covers from September 2011 to August 2013, a total of 1,511 cases of violent assault were committed in the surveyed area, whilst 1,042 arrests were made.
The findings come after York was ranked as the 49th most dangerous University in the UK in a survey by Amazing That earlier this year.

One second year Chemistry student, who asked to remain anonymous, told Vision their story: “The first time I was threatened with a knife, because apparently I ‘looked at him funny’ on a night out. ”

“The second saw me pinned up against a wall by my neck and I had to kick him until he let go so I could run away, again as I was walking home on a night out. They were terrifying experiences, but fortunately, I was unharmed.

“The figures and my experiences are quite startling, as everyone thinks that York is a really safe place, but sadly it is not always.”

A particularly dangerous month appears to be October, and in October 2011, 84 crimes were committed under the sub-category of “Violence against the person” in the ward York City Centre and East, whilst 56 arrests were made. This number of crimes was the largest for any single month between September 2011 and August 2013.

Meanwhile in October 2012, 77 cases of violent assault were committed, and as a result, a further 70 arrests were made. Figures for October 2013 are unavailable.

October sees Freshers Week occur at the Universities of York and York St John, thus creating the potential for more cases of civil unrest in the city centre, with clashes between locals and students. However, the data does not breakdown the number of these crimes that were committed by or against students.

YUSU’s Welfare and Community Officer George Offer told Vision: “Although there is a clear elevation in rates of violent crime during the month of October, which may or may not be due to the beginning of the new academic year, I think the figures are actually very reassuring with instances of violent crime during October falling between 2011 and 2012.”

“The suspect title of 49th most dangerous University according to the Complete University Guide puts us well into the safest half of the 83 Universities ranked in their list.”

York was rated the third safest University city in the UK by a separate Complete University Guide study this year.

Report any emergency crime you fall victim to by calling 999. The non-emergency number is 101.

One thought on “Climate of Fear

  1. The ‘title’ of ’49th most dangerous university in the UK’S was not one conferred by The Complete University Guide. Our survey was of three specific categories of crime relevant to students within three miles of each English and Welsh university (not UK) and, as George says, reflects its relative safety. Forgive a minor correction but 49th is below the midway point for 83 institutions and York is not, therefore, in the safer half.
    The thrust of the story indicates why this is the case.

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