Violent crime at University

Uni Bath Chen Zhao

University of Bath by Chen Zhao, Flickr Creative Commons

Across the UK last week, on August 14th, thousands of students received their A-Level grades and will now making plans for starting university.

Once the euphoria has settled, it is time to face the practicalities. For many, they will be moving away from home to new towns or cities. One important issue is that of security – both on campus and in the new places the students find themselves in.

Violent crime is defined as those against the person (with injury) and covers a wide range of offences. In about half of all cases, fortunately the victim suffers no physical injury.

Using CartoDB, I’ve made a map showing violent crime rates across 29 university cities.

The UK data originally comes from the Home Office and ONS data (England and Wales); Justice Analytical Services (in Scotland); and the Central Survey Unit (Northern Ireland).

If you wish to see the rate of violent crime in say Leeds, simply click on the location (you should know the geography) – and in the info-window you should see the rate of violent crime per 1000 people.

The size of the bubble relates to how dangerous the city is in terms of violent crime.

CBD pic uni city

How dangerous is your university? Graphic by Namal Perera

Nottingham had the highest rate of violent crime in England, and also had high rates of burglary and robbery. Unfortunately, nobody from the university security was available to speak to me. Speaking to former students from Nottingham – they reported being aware of the city having a certain degree of notoriety attached to it, but had not experienced any particular violence against their person.

Mike Porter is the Security Manager at the University of Bath, which has been ranked as the safest university in the UK. There are probably many reasons for this – e.g. overall crime may be lower with a smaller population – but it’s useful to know how they address security issues there.

“At their induction, students usually receive a security lecture from student services” he said, “We [security] are present during Freshers’ Week and can give advice and additional information to students.”

Location is also important. Mr Porter says, “Being on top of a hill is beneficial from a crime prevention point of view.”

For more general information on England and Wales violent crime statistics click here.



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