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Student Community Patrol keeping students safe

Students from the University of Gloucestershire are continuing to join forces with Gloucestershire Constabulary to keep their peers safe on the streets.

After receiving extra funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Fund, the Superstarsxtra Scheme has been rebranded as the Student Community Patrol.

The Student Community Patrollers were out for three nights in Freshers’ week, looking out for students who were lost, needed a pair of flips flops, required minor first aid or just needed a bit of support.

This scheme was developed and launched in 2012 by the University of Gloucestershire’s Students’ Union, and it currently has sixteen volunteers, all of whom have been trained to Security Industry Authority level. The student volunteers have also received first aid certification and briefings from the Police. The students work in pairs and are linked into the ‘Nightsafe’ radio network.

They will be out on patrol every Monday night in term time and the scheme has proved very successful: student-related incidents are very few in number these days.

James Williams, a final year Multimedia Web Design student, said: “It is reassuring to know that students who do get into trouble can get the help they need from the volunteer patrollers. I suppose it stops the Police getting tied up with minor issues.”

The University were successful in their application for further funding for this scheme, with the aim of launching a Student Community Patrol on Wednesday nights as well as Mondays, and training a second cohort early in 2016. In addition, the student volunteers will be offered a range of workshops and lectures on subject areas that will enhance their skills and knowledge.

Ross Nicholl, University liaison PCSO, is on duty on Monday nights to act as the Police support for the Student Community Patrollers. He said: “It’s fantastic to have a scheme like this running for another year. Already we have seen a decrease in calls to the Police and less Police time being wasted. I would encourage students to take part in this worthwhile volunteering opportunity.”

John Abell, Chief Executive of the University of Gloucestershire’s Students’ Union, said: “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Gloucestershire Constabulary for many years. We take the wellbeing of all our students very seriously and this is a further way in which we can help them enjoy themselves while staying safe. We are grateful to Gloucestershire Constabulary and to the Police and Crime Commissioner for their support.”