Canterbury Christ Church Students Union started a Night Time Safety Campaign two weeks ago to help students feel safe on nights out.
There have been various things put in place to make sure students feel as safe as possible such as Street Marshalls patrolling and apps you can download.
Frankie McGregor, President (Community, Diversity and Inclusion) at Christ Church Students Union is running the campaign; “I wanted to be able to lead on this campaign this year as coming out of the pandemic the safety of students is a priority.
“Many students wouldn’t of have experienced a proper night out and being able to keep themselves safe while being out in Canterbury is very important to us.”
Street Marshalls are patrolling Club Chemistry and Wincheap area on Wednesdays and Fridays between 23:00 and 5:00 and St Michaels on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between 23:00 and 4:00. They are identifiable by their high visibility jackets.
“As you have the street marshals making sure students get home safe or giving out advice to the Safety Hubs which is another way, we as a Union are able to give out safety advice to the students.” Frankie McGregor explains.
“One thing I would recommend for students to download is the SafeZone App. As this app can be used around Canterbury and alert the right services depending on the situation.”
The Safety Hub is where students can seek advice from the Union who work collaboratively with Canterbury Council, Street Marshals, Street Pastors, and the Police.
The Students Union are also working to make sure that staff at pubs and bars are trained to tackle harassment and unacceptable behaviour through the Zero Tolerance Scheme.
This includes Ask Angela which some bars already have in place. This allows people to be assisted discreetly and get the support they need.
Another way to report harassment is through the Report and Support system where you will be directed to a specialist advisor through this website.
The amount of drink spiking’s in Canterbury have been increasing and it’s causing many students to be nervous about going out.
“Night time safety is a constant concern for many people, and this is not different when it comes to students. Sexual assault, violence and stalking are real issues that happen in every city in the country.
Spiking has been something that we as a union have raised awareness around, and will continue to stand against. Putting something in someone’s drink is illegal and is never the victim’s fault.
We understand that this is a particular issue in Canterbury currently and we are working proactively with local businesses to ensure our students safety.” – Frankie McGregor.
Other ways the Night Time Safety Campaign is helping students is through the Safe Taxi Scheme and Lit Routes.
The Students Union has partnered with Longley’s taxi to help students reach their accommodation safely which also allows them to pay later using the CCCU shop if they don’t have the funds at the time.
Lit Route home maps allow students to see the safest areas to walk home that are either lit or have CCTV.
The Students Union is working hard to make sure students are safe on nights out all year round.