Recently, a resident of Falmouth named Sarah Forbes launched a petition via change.org to call on universities in the town to provide funding for extra police officers.
This was in response to an initiative by Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. Earlier this year, both universities teamed up to launch Operation Oak. This initiative focused on providing funds to the Northumbria Police so more police officers could patrol student areas in the town.
Some other universities have launched similar initiatives. In October, Northampton University expressed its commitment to provide £774,027 over three years to sponsor a team of six police officers at the university campus.
This call on Falmouth University and the University of Exeter is due to a perceived security threat as the population of students in the town continues to increase.
In 2017, a group called Save our Falmouth launched protests against the universities’ plan to increase the number of new student intakes. The campaign group stated in their letter to West Briton: “We understand, from a document published by the University of Falmouth in August that the projected expansion of the university by 2030 could see student numbers increase to 15,500.”
Ms Forbes said, “I am acutely aware that antisocial behaviour is not confined to students. This is not about branding students as trouble; it is about keeping everyone as safe as possible.”
A team of student community wardens has been put together by the Students’ Union for Falmouth University and the University of Exeter. These wardens will patrol residential areas and hope to foster positive relationships with the community.
The residents appreciate this response by the universities but hope they can do more to preserve the safety of the students and locals.