Students Say They No Longer Feel Safe Living In Birmingham
After a significant increase in reports of student-targeted crime in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham, a petition has been started by students calling for a more “proactive” response on behalf of local police and Birmingham City Council.
The petition is asking for “increased action and constant police patrol” in order to combat and deter an increasingly regular amount of muggings, robberies and burglaries reported in the area popular with University of Birmingham students.
The petition has already been signed by almost 5,000 people.
In spite of recent reports claiming that crime figures are falling in Selly Oak, the petition highlights the extent to which local students continue to feel affected by crime in the area: “This issue has escalated to the point where students (predominantly) cannot walk home without the fear of being mugged even in the daylight. Within the last 24 hours a girl has been chased by a gang on her walk home, a house has been burgled and two girls were mugged on a walk home at 5pm- and this is just what has been reported.”
Commenting on the petition, student Alex Read says: “I’m honestly quite scared to walk home after sunset. I think there is this chilling assumption that because we’re students, we don’t matter as much. If a neighbourhood of families had been violently robbed on multiple occasions under similar circumstances, there would be a very different response. Please don’t ignore us, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt.”
Other students have taken to social media to show how they feel about crime in Selly Oak:
I don't feel safe walking anywhere in Selly Oak anymore 🤔😱😟👀👥
— Joshua (@JoshPusey) February 1, 2016
Another armed robbery in selly oak w robbers wearing ski masks and armed with hammers etc. and I'm about to walk home alone. Nope.
— kezia (@KeziaRF) January 18, 2016
Do not feel safe in selly oak at the minute
— Emily Jayne Smith (@emtothejay8) February 2, 2016
The petition ultimately calls for better collaboration between students and police, as well as a more consistent approach to crime prevention in Selly Oak.
“In response to this seemingly growing issue we strongly believe that a huge change is required by both the local police and Birmingham City Council to be more proactive than reactive in preventing these crimes from continuing. Action is needed to take this issue more seriously by putting constant patrols of police on the Selly Oak streets.”
David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, reportedly plans to meet with students at the University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students to address concerns.