Universities Warning Students About Anti-Social Behaviour

Keimae Blake, writing in the Nottingham Post on Wednesday 15 September 2021, reported that Nottingham's universities are warning students about anti-social behaviour in preparation for the beginning of the new academic year and the return of students to so-called 'student areas' like Lenton.

Lenton ready for return of students as universities warn against anti-social behaviour

Some students have tried to make a good first impression.

Residents and students in Lenton are preparing to live alongside each other again in the popular student area, with students being warned against anti-social behaviour by their universities.

The high concentration of students in rented houses during term time in Lenton has caused some residents distress in the past. However, one student Nottinghamshire Live spoke to said he was keen to start a positive relationship with those living nearby.

Harry Whitehurst, 19, has just moved into the area, and said he had tried to reassure his neighbours by introducing himself to try and make a good first impression.

Mr Whitehurst has also given his neighbour his mobile number.

"I told them if it ever gets too loud, please text and tell me, don’t ring the police straight away,” he said.

Rowan Buxton, 19, has also recently moved into the area.

Mr Buxton said: "Residents are aware it’s a student area, they’re probably use to it [the noise].”

Nottinghamshire Live also spoke to two residents on Harrington Drive.

One resident said that they hoped that things would improve this year after some bad experiences in the past.

“In the past, students have been inconsiderate and rude," the resident said.

"I understand they want to party but there’s families about and people work, we don’t want to hear them partying all the time.”

Another resident added: "I don't mind them partying during freshers week but after that, it becomes too much."

Councillor Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said her department would continue to support residents, working with the police and universities to help them tackle students who cause problems. 

"Nottingham is incredibly diverse and we get along well together – our communities are great places to live and we are determined to maintain this,” she said.

The issue of anti-social behaviour is one that the two universities in the city take seriously too.

A joint statement from both the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University said:

"Ahead of the start of the new academic year we are reminding all students of their responsibilities to their local community. We patrol local neighbourhoods, work closely in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and Community Protection, and have increased our security presence in areas with a higher number of students.

"We do not tolerate any form of anti-social behaviour, and on receipt of any report will always investigate promptly. When we have evidence of behaviour that falls short of our expectations, we take immediate action under our respective internal disciplinary processes which include warnings, fines and suspensions.”

Inspector Paul Ferguson, of Nottinghamshire Police said the police would continue to work alongside partner agencies such as the city council and the universities to help residents and students feel safe and heard in the community.

He said: “It is important to us that any issues residents or students may have are reported to us so alongside the council and universities we can help tackle any issues quickly and effectively as part of our mission to make the local area a safe and neighbourly place to live and work.”

The universities also urge residents to email them if they have concerns regarding students in the area on: for the University of Nottingham or for Trent University.

Lenton ready for return of students as universities warn against anti-social behaviour - Nottinghamshire Live

Editorial Comment

"I told them if it ever gets too loud, please text and tell me, don’t ring the police straight away, ...
[Harry Whitehurst]
"Residents are aware it’s a student area, they’re probably use to it [the noise].”
[Rowan Buxton]

It is good to know that Harry Whitehurst appears to have at least made some attempt to relate to residents living in the neighbourhood he hs just moved into as a guest. However, he really needs to think carefully about how he uses word and their impact. If his words, as quoted in the article are accurate (and there is no reason to suppose otherwise), then it would have been far better for community relations, and far less arrogant if he had 'asked' his neighbours, rather 'told' his neighbours. Also, it is worrying that he needs to be told when the noise he (and presumably others sharing the house) is making is too loud. If by telling his neighbours not to ring the police, he is trying to avoid wasting police time unnecessarily, then he is to be thanked. Otherwise, there is a question mark on the reason for that request.

Rowan Buxton's comment is unfortunately only too typical of the arrogant, ignorant and totally unacceptable attitude that too many students seem to have. Lenton and other so-called 'student areas' are the permanent homes of people and families whose whole lives are based in these neighbourhoods and who are far from being used to the noise and other anti-social behaviour that students, like Rowan Buxton, seem to think they are entitled to inflict on them. Rowan Buxton seems set fair to be another neighbour from hell for the rest of his time in Nottingham.

As the article has illustrated, residents living in these neighbourhoods are remarkably tolerant and understanding. However, that does not mean students are entitled to abuse that good will.

Perhaps both students need to be spoken to by whichever university they attend to ensure that they understand their obligations to the local community, even if that means they are not going to enjoy the 'student experience' that brought them here in the first place.