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Report: only one-third of UK students trust campus security to keep them safe

The Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity also found 80% of students think race could make someone more likely to encounter security.

By Seb Davies, Third year, Philosophy

A new report from the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) has revealed that only a third of students feel that university security staff keep them safe on campus following a national survey of 635 students. 

The CoDe report was done in response to a number of high-profile incidents at universities across the country, in an attempt to understand how students feel about campus security at university.

Alongside a national survey of 635 students, the report featured interviews with 30 students at 3 universities in Greater Manchester alongside Freedom of Information requests at the same universities. 

The national survey within the report detailed how only 30.8 percent of students felt that campus security kept them safe at University.

Nearly three-quarters of students felt that some students were more likely to have an encounter with campus security than others, with 78.9 percent of these identifying race as a reason why someone would be more likely to encounter campus security.

This was followed closely by gender, with 61.7 percent identifying this as a reason for an encounter, and 54.8 percent highlighting social class. The report also details how only 29.3 percent of women felt that campus security kept them safe, with this dropping to 17.8 percent when it came to feeling that the police kept them safe. In addition to this, out of students who identify as trans, non-binary or an ‘other’ gender, only 22.6 percent of them felt campus security kept them safe.

Drink spiking, and sexual violence, as well as campus security responses to mental health crisis’ were all highlighted within the report as important issues for students.

The lead author of the report, Remi Joseph Salisbury, said ‘its clear that the role of campus security needs much closer scrutiny. This report provides an evidence base and highlights a range of problems. The onus is now on institutions to respond and show that their commitments to equality are sincere and determined.’

The University of Bristol has campus security working 24/7, 365 days a year, with student welfare integral to the job. 48 uniformed officers work to manage 21 UoB residences and 344 administrative and academic buildings across the University site.

The campus security team also has a dedicated university police officer working alongside the teams. In the 2022/23 academic year, the campus security services dealt with close to 10,000 incidents across the University, recording circa 200 crimes.

Featured Image: University of Bristol

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