University praised for crime fighting

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Lancaster University has been praised for the special projects it has run in conjunction with a crime fighting charity.

The Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC) supports initiatives designed to protect and reassure the county’s communities.

It brings together the police, members of the public and the private and voluntary sectors in order to reduce crime and enhance community safety.

Over the past 20 years it has handed out over £2m to good causes, with the assistance of nearly 30 member companies who have helped to provide funding.

Lancaster University is among these companies and staff and students have also run a number of successful initiatives in partnership with LANPAC.

The SAFE project involves Lancaster University student volunteers conducting home visits to local elderly and vulnerable residents in Lancaster and Morecambe to raise awareness of doorstep crime, while at the same time installing crime prevention equipment.

LANPAC has funded this scheme for more than eight years and recently allocated £1,456, which will be used to purchase door bars, spy holes, memo devices and other security equipment.

Evaluation of the SAFE project has shown that nearly 500 residents have now received a visit from a student and now feel much safer in their homes.

The Easy Tiger project, which was funded by LANPAC and supported by Lancaster police, Lancaster University Students Union (LUSU) and Lancaster town centre pubs and clubs, has also been a huge success.

The project was aimed at making people more aware of the health cost of drinking to excess and targeted anti-social behaviour in the city centre.

Easy Tiger has seen a host of groups come together to help make Lancaster a safer place for students to enjoy their time spent socialising off campus.

Ian Groundwater, LANPAC manager, said: “It is true to say that we could not run our day-to-day activities of providing instant funding to address urgent neighbourhood concerns without the support of our members.

“We are extremely grateful for the support that Lancaster University have provided over the last 20 years”.

Richard Clark, LUSU vice president academic, said: “LANPAC has really helped make a positive difference regarding student welfare over the last 20 years. The work it does is invaluable for the local community.”

Mark Salisbury, Lancaster University security operations manager, added: “Working in partnership with Lancashire Constabulary and the local police for years is a remarkable achievement.

“The commitment shown by all involved in these projects spanning 20 years has made a huge difference in terms of personal safety, crime reduction and perhaps more importantly reassurance for so many.

“In particular I can recall from my time spent in local policing how things were so different for our students socialising in the city centre and the huge difference and changes that the Easy Tiger project brought about.”

LANPAC is now working closely with the university to support an initiative aimed at reducing cycle thefts on campus.

The university also benefits from having its own dedicated police team.

PC Gary Wynne and PCSO Andy Garner are regular visitors on campus and have an office within the CETED building, where they are able to meet students who may wish to discuss police related matters.