University and police work together for the benefit of the whole community.

Posted on 9th November 2017

A joint initiative between the University of Chester and Cheshire Constabulary, has enabled students to settle into their new home as quickly and as smoothly as possible and resulted in a positive impact on community relations.

Michael Grant, Special Sargent and University of Chester student.
Michael Grant, Special Sargent and University of Chester student.

With term now fully underway, the University’s Community Liaison Manager and the Garden Quarter Beat Manager have seen a reduction in complaints relating to anti-social behaviour, including a low number of noise complaints.

Special Constables patrolled the Garden Quarter area with regular police providing reassurance to both longer-term residents and students, as part of the joint Operation Cherokee, which also involved delivering educational messages, advice and guidance to the student population.

The Operation was part of an ongoing working relationship between the University and the Police throughout the year, every year, to keep both students and the local community safe and prevent or alleviate any problems.

Jack Bostock, Police Constable and Garden Beat Manager, said: “The Operation was a success in terms of reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We worked with the University to educate students about issues such as sexual violence, drugs and their expected behaviour in the community.

“The addition of Special Constables to the Operation this year has provided a welcome boost and has been commented upon positively by students and the wider Garden Quarter community. A measure of the success would be having no noise complaints during Induction Week in the Garden Quarter and lower crime figures than in previous years.”

One of the Special Constables who took part was Michael Grant from Wrexham, North Wales. Michael, who is also a student at the University, chose to become a Special Constable to gain an insight into Policing and give something back to the community.

In his role during the Operation he joined other Special Constables to be a visible presence at night and engage with students and members of the community.

He said: “The Operation ran well and the students and members of the public that we spoke to stated that they felt safer by seeing officers patrolling the area during busy times.

“The public generally reported that they felt comfortable speaking to the officers, as we were approachable and friendly.”

Michael has ambitions to work in different specialist roles in the Police Service, such as the Road Policing Unit and Crime Scene Investigation departments, once he finishes his studies.

The University takes its role in educating its students about responsible community behaviour very seriously. Prior to enrolling incoming undergraduates are sent information welcoming them to the ‘Communiversity’ of Chester. 

Community Liaison Manager, Louise Collins, said: “To reinforce that first message we invited our new undergraduates, who are living in University accommodation, to a Welcome to the City of Chester talk on the day they moved in, given by Matt Baker, Garden Quarter resident (please see video here - https://vimeo.com/237086507/ea837ee965), PC Jack Bostock and PCSO Dan Pheasey and Chester Students’ Union. More than 1,000 students attended and all speakers emphasised the need to act responsibly, while also welcoming the new students to the city.”

The University will continue to work closely with the Police and Cheshire West and Chester Council, to provide an effective and collective response to any issues that arise over the next year. During the summer term, all residential students will receive education from their Residential Advisors on community living in advance of them moving out of University accommodation, and they also have access to our Chester Student Community Guide.

Louise added: “From a University perspective, I have received a very low number of complaints about anti-social behaviour during Freshers’ Week. We would like to thank our students for enjoying their Freshers’ Week, while taking these messages on board.”