West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership (WLCSP) is working to ensure new students at Edge Hill University have a safe and enjoyable time whilst studying and socialising in the Borough.
The Partnership, which includes the University, has an excellent track record of delivering a large programme of activities to integrate students safely into the community. The annual partnership Welcome Week programme will start in earnest when students arrive on Sunday, 16 September. WLCSP members view this period as an ideal opportunity to provide key safety and welfare messages to the students and its work has previously been received well by local residents.
Many aspects of this programme will extend beyond the initial Welcome Week (formerly known as Freshers’ Week) when returning students will be given the important messages.
Heidi McDougall, West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership chairperson, said: “The Community Safety Partnership wants to welcome Edge Hill University students to West Lancashire. We have done some excellent work to ensure plans are in place to help local people and Edge Hill University to integrate students into the area during the first few weeks of term.
"I would like to reassure residents that all relevant organisations are working together on their behalf. This partnership working provides excellent value for money as the agencies work together to ensure the Welcome period runs smoothly.”
Edge Hill University will distribute Halls of Residence and Student Handbooks to all new students, containing information on safety, security and behaviour. Staff at the University and Students’ Union will also work with students to help them settle into, and become active members of the local community.
During Welcome Week, partnership members will be in and around Edge Hill’s campus on St Helens Road to offer help and advice to new students and provide assurance for the wider community.
The Police have a dedicated patrol plan and, with the help of funding from the Community Safety Partnership, will have extra officers on local streets during the first two weeks of term. There will be foot patrols until 3am, particularly on key nights for Welcome Week activities as identified from information provided by the University’s Students’ Union.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will give fire safety advice to first year students and carry out fire safety checks on student accommodation across the borough.
In addition to their regular Saturday night patrols on Saturday 22 and 29 September, Ormskirk Street Pastors will have volunteers on extra town centre patrols between 10.30pm and 2.30am on Friday 28 September.
The Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team will also be undertaking daily patrols of Ormskirk for the three week period visiting all known student properties to provide advice in relation to waste, re-cycling and noise.
Fay Sherrington, Edge Hill’s Director of Student Services, said: “Edge Hill is proud to continue its participation in the Community Safety Partnership initiative. Ensuring our students and members of the Ormskirk community are kept safe is of paramount importance to us, and we work closely with the CSP to support a safe, secure and welcoming community environment. Edge Hill University is the safest place to study in the North West according to the Complete University Guide and we will continue to communicate safety messages to students and also encourage them to be neighbourly and become active members of the local community.”
West Lancashire geographic policing Inspector, Adrian Jolly, said: "In consultation with the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) we have devised a comprehensive multi-agency plan to ensure that Welcome Week is a success and passes peacefully, keeping disruption and anti-social behaviour to a minimum. Alongside the other CSP members work, we will be facilitating increased foot patrols in and around the vicinity of the university and town centre. Residents and students alike will be re-assured that there will be a visible police presence throughout the Welcome period.”
Mark Winder, Station Manager for the West Lancashire District, said: “Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is proud to be part of a proactive partnership which seeks to support the community, and in this instance, young persons in their environment. This will be the 14th year LFRS staff are providing fire safety advice to new students living on campus as well as those living in rented accommodation off site. In that time we have seen the number of emergencies reduce significantly, most importantly with a reduction in injures and damage to property which impacts on the student wellbeing. If any student has particular concerns or requires fire safety advice please contact your local fire station, the contact details can be accessed via the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service website (external link)."
For more information on the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership please visit Community Safety Partnership.