In choosing where to study at university, it would surprise me if the safety of a place determined student choices. It appears that academic ranking and nightlife, for instance, are more important to students during the selection process.
Although students like to think that they’re invincible, young people can certainly get wrapped up in Britain’s crime scene.
As one would envisage, students are likely to encounter more ‘danger’ in larger cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and London.
These cities are known for their thriving party scene which goes hand in hand with high drug consumption and the typical city crimes like mugging and assault.
On the flip slide, one would assume that smaller and more ‘civilised’ places like Exeter and Durham would be among the safest.
Although this pattern is somewhat true, the results from a study by the Independent are quite surprising. It appears that the survey focused on clearly defined student areas rather than simply places where students are present. This would explain why cities like Manchester and London are nowhere to be seen on the list.
The study listed Brighton as the most dangerous place to be a student.
You would never have expected that such a laid-back hipster beach town could top notoriously high-crime cities like ‘Shottingham.’
Michael Rainsford, co-founder of StuRents.com, says that crime rate is likely to be high in Brighton because of its lively nightlife and because unlike other UK cities, students tend to live right in the city centre.
In 2014, there was an average rate of 829 incidents per thousand residents over a period in Brighton. Within these statistics, Brighton saw the highest incidence of sexual assault in the country.
The second most dangerous place to be a student was Swansea, followed by Stoke-On-Trent and then Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
Cities like York, Sunderland and Wolverhampton also made the list.
Places in the North made up a large number of those listed, and other than Newcastle, the places listed had fairly low populations.
As you would expect, Cambridge was recorded as the place where most bicycles get stolen each year.
Just a stone throw away from notoriously dangerous London, Egham in Surrey was listed by the Independent as the safest place to be a student with just 56.6 incidents per thousand residents.
The next safest student town was High Wycombe (69.5), home to Buckinghamshire New University.
The historic Roman town of Bath was listed as the third safest place then with just 74.4 incidents per thousand residents.
Falmouth, home to one of Exeter’s campuses came next and then Bedford and Loughborough.
The places listed as the safest for students were spread out in every corner of the country, from Durham to Hull, Kent and Norwich. A judgment that one could infer is that the places with a quieter nightlife are safer.
Equally, many of the places listed as safe are closed-off campus universities like Egham and Loughborough.
Nevertheless, working with crime stats is always problematic.
First and foremost, they are based on the crimes reported rather than committed. This could explain why some small and quiet towns are listed as the most dangerous to be a student.
One can assume that people are more likely to report crime in quieter areas because offences would be considered as more disruptive and locals would have more faith in the response of the emergency services.
In contrast, in a lively city the locals are less likely to report a noise complaint or an act of violence because such offences are anticipated in city culture. And of course, the severity of different crimes varies greatly.
For example, some areas may rank as more dangerous because of their high-rate of petty crime such as drug offences. In the same light, an area could rank lower in the overall crime ratings, but the crimes committed could have been extremely serious such as sexual assault, robbery or acts of violence.
Despite these issues, crime statistics should serve as an important indicator for students in order to make informed decisions about where they choose to study.
For more up to date information take a look on ukcrimestats.