Increase in anti-social behaviour as students return
Police say the return of students to Jesmond in the month of September created a significant rise in anti-social behaviour issues.
The south and west Jesmond areas were particularly affected with police receiving complaints regarding noise from student accommodation, as well as complaints concerning students returning to properties in the early hours of the morning.
In the month of September alone, 139 students were warned concerning noise in the Jesmond area, with 130 receiving a first warning letter during the universities’ Freshers’ Week. One student received a second warning, three students were made to to sign an Acceptable Behaviour Agreement and five students were sent a Section 80 notice from the Environmental Health Agency.
Northumbria Police have implemented a number of initiatives to foster better links between the local and student populations in Jesmond, while at the same time cracking down on culprits.
Operation Oak provides an anti-social behaviour police patrol during prime times (11pm – 4am) and in the trouble spots (south and west Jesmond) each Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday until 5am.
The police, along with partner agencies including the Environmental Health agency, have visited and flagged premises across Jesmond in connection with anti-social behaviour, as well as increasing the visibility patrols across the neighbourhood.
Neighbourhood inspector Lousie Cass-Williams said: “So far it was been a scheme which has been really well received by residents – and that includes students – and has helped reduce disorder in Jesmond. There are tens of thousands of students in Newcastle at any one time and only a small number of them ever come to our attention. In the vast majority of these cases once people have been spoken to once they don’t come to our attention again.”
Working alongside the police are the universities, who keep in regular contact concerning the issue of anti-social behaviour. All disturbances are recorded by the police and student details sent to the relevant universities for their attention. The universities then contact these students via email. Students are also regularly notified by their universities of police and local residents’ concerns, with a view to prevent further disturbances. Repeat offenders can risk termination of their studies.
Residents in Newcastle also now benefit from a new Night-Watch noise service operated by Newcastle City Council. The service aims to deal with night-time noise disturbances and operates seven days a week between 08:00pm and 04:00am.
“Jesmond is a desirable place to live and has a strong community spirit,” says Cass-Williams. “With us all – the police, partners and the community – working together we can continue to make the area safer for everyone by targeting the minority who spoil it for others.”
Residents who suffer from noise pollution or have any other concerns can call the Night-Watch team on 03001000101 or make contact via the Jesmond section of the Northumbria Police website.