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Thursday, September 11, 2014

West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership plans for Freshers' Week 2014

Term time begins at Edge Hill University in September, and West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership wants to welcome new students and ensure they have a safe and enjoyable time living in the borough.

The partnership, which includes the University, has an annual Freshers’ Week programme, which will start in earnest when students arrive on Sunday, 21 September.

Many aspects of the Partnership’s coordinated activities will extend into weeks two and three when returning students come back.

Dave Tilleray, West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership chairman, said: “We would like to welcome the new students to Edge Hill. We appreciate that some Ormskirk residents are concerned about the potential for anti-social behaviour which can occur during the first few weeks of term. The Community Safety Partnership has been working hard to ensure plans are in place to minimise this and keep students safe.”

Edge Hill University will distribute Halls of Residence & Student Handbooks to all students, containing information on safety, security and behaviour. University staff will also ensure students are inducted into their responsibilities as citizens in our local community

The Students’ Union will be running a variety of activities including a campaign to encourage students to drink responsibly and helping to ensure contact information for the police and Council is on relevant websites and notice boards.

During Freshers’ Week, partnership members will be in and around Edge Hill’s campus on St Helens Road to offer help and advice to new students as well as reassurance for the wider community.

The Police, with the help of funding from the Community Safety Partnership, will have extra officers on the streets during the first three weeks of term. There will be foot patrols until 3am, particularly on key nights for Freshers’ activities as identified from information provided by the University’s Students’ Union. Officers will also be monitoring traffic levels in and around St Helens Road on Sunday 21 September to help keep Ormskirk moving.

Councillor David Sudworth, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “Freshers’ week is traditionally a busy time in Ormskirk and I am pleased the Community Safety Partnership will be taking action once again.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue will bring the crashed car demonstration to the Freshers’ Fair on Wednesday 24 September and doing demonstrations warning students to be careful when cooking. Fire service officers will give welcome talks to the new students on the Sunday they arrive and do fire safety checks if requested.

Ormskirk Street Pastors will have volunteers patrolling Ormskirk town centre from 10pm till midnight on Wednesday 24 September, 1 October, 8 October and 15 October. This is in addition to their regular Friday and Saturday night patrols between 10.30pm and 3am.

The Council have produced environmental heath noise posters, focussing on "street noise" and these will be distributed to landlords to them to give to their students. Council Environmental Enforcement Officers will provide waste and refuse posters to student properties and discuss waste arrangements with householders. They will patrol Ormskirk daily during the first three weeks of term assisting with the provision of information on waste and refuse arrangements.

Christine Coleman, Director of Student Services, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this Community Safety Partnership initiative once more, continuing our efforts to welcome, support and integrate students into our local community.  It is pleasing to note that for the third year running, Edge Hill University has been ranked the safest campus in the North West. Statistics published by the independent Complete University Guide show that the University has the lowest crime rates of any of the region’s Universities and remains in the top 10 of safest universities nationally. The survey takes into consideration the campus and the surrounding area within a 3 mile radius.  I believe that these excellent results are in no small part due to the combined efforts and commitment of the CSP.”

West Lancashire geographic policing Inspector Christina Shorrock said: “In consultation with the Community Safety Partnership we have devised a comprehensive multi-agency plan to ensure that Freshers’ Week is a success and passes peacefully, keeping disruption and anti-social behaviour to a minimum.

“Alongside the CSP work we will be facilitating increased foot patrols in and around the vicinity of the university and town centre. Residents and students alike can feel re-assured that there will be a visible police presence throughout the Freshers’ period.”

John Buck, Chorley & West Lancashire Community Protection Manager for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This will be Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s 10th year delivering fire safety advice to new students living on campus as well as those living in rented accommodation off site. We have seen the number of call outs reduce significantly over this time and we will continue to deliver this important message.”