ARBORETUM RESIDENTS FEAR SPIKE IN COVID & ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
On Sunday 14 March 2021, Peter Hennessy, writing in the Nottingham Post, reported that residents in the Arboretum area are worried about what will happen when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and the area once again has an influx of students, late-night noise and other anti-social behaviour.
'It's like Benidorm around here' - Worried Arboretum residents fear return of student partying
They say they don't want a spike in Covid cases and anti-social behaviour once restrictions are lifted once again
Residents living in the Arboretum say they are "very worried" about an influx of students and partying in the area once Covid restrictions are lifted.
The Arboretum Residents and Tenants' Association group regularly meets with Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire Police to discuss issues of anti-social behaviour, littering, prostitution and drug use in the area.
One outcome of the meetings was residents being given a number directly to university security to call if there were any problems, rather than calling 101 - which they say was proving ineffective.
Members from the group tell Nottinghamshire Live their are is a lot of concerns from people living in the area about what life may be like in the area when lockdown ends.
Pat Robsinson, 77, said: "We just want the police to be proactive, not reactive. The problems are ongoing and I don't think the police are on top of it.
"We have real concerns about them [the students] coming back. When they came back the first time there were problems, so it's a worry.
"The anti-social behaviour, the parties, the litter - we have seen rats running around our street.
"I'm not anti-student - I've got lovely students living next door, their respectful, they checked on me during lockdown - they've been fantastic.
"But they will be moving out soon and it's a constant worry - who moves in next? I can't stand it anymore."
She says she would like to see HMO landlords take more responsibility for the behaviour of their tenants.
Students on practical courses at universities who would be unable to complete their courses if they did not return to take part in practical teaching, access specialist facilities, or complete assessments were able to return from 8 March.
The Government's roadmap out of lockdown states that there will be a Government review by the end of the Easter holidays for the next steps for Higher Education students that do not need to take part in practical teaching, and do not require access to specialist facilities or equipment as part of their studies.
Another member of the group, who lives in the Arboretum and wished to remain anonymous, said: "We're not anti-student - we're anti-HMO.
"People always call this a student area - it is not. It is a residential area where a lot of students live.
"Covid has brought into focus the problems we have faced for years. Parties, litter, anti-social behaviour. You saw what the Arboretum park was like a couple of weeks ago - I refuse to go now, it's an anxiety-inducing experience.
"I'm very, very worried about parties starting up again. The fear of them all returning, when we still have problems as it is, is enormous. We are living in a state of anxiety about what is going to happen."
"We really don't want Covid cases shooting up again here like it did last time," Pat continued.
"It's frightening to think we could be overwhelmed with students once again. It's like Benidorm around here, honestly.
"I've broken down in tears before, shaking, trying to get things reported over the phone. I've just thought 'how on earth am I going to deal with this?' It's the last thing I want to be doing in the middle of the night."
A Nottingham Trent Spokesperson said: “We regularly meet with local residents to hear concerns and work up practical solutions to help address them.
"We have recently increased our security presence in high student areas and are funding additional litter patrols in communal areas such as the Arboretum. We have written to our local residents detailing how to report incidents if they do occur, including an out of hours phone number.
"When we are made aware of anti-social behaviour we investigate promptly. Students know that in addition to any police action they may face discipline under our Student Code of Behaviour up to and including expulsion.”
Chief Inspector Al Pearson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "We are always keen to work with residents alongside partner agencies including Nottingham City Council and the two universities to address any issues of concern.
"We have had a number of meetings with the Arboretum Residents' and Tenants' Association and will continue to listen and act on issues that arise.
"Our neighbourhood policing plan includes regular patrols of the area to prevent antisocial behaviour and provide reassurance and we aim to respond as quickly as possible to live incidents when we receive reports from members of the public."