What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
19 views
19 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
56 views
56 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
98 views
98 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
84 views
84 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
114 views
114 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
152 views
152 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
115 views
115 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
252 views
252 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
195 views
195 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
208 views
208 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
237 views
237 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
7 views
7 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
374 Views

Street violence in Brighton

“Students wandering home drunk, being loud and drawing attention to themselves render themselves vulnerable.”

West Street, 2am on a Friday night: Groups of clubbers emerge onto the streets and wait around – for friends, for a taxi, for a decision on where to go next. The police cars parked around the city centre go largely ignored.

Brighton and Hove’s publicity material paints a picture of a friendly, tolerant city- one of the “loveliest and liveliest” in the country. This is reflected in the responses to a survey by The Badger where 100% of respondents said that, in general, they felt safe in Brighton at night, and despite 35% reported to having been threatened or felt intimidated in Brighton’s streets, 87% would still walk in the city centre at night alone.

However, in just the last couple of weeks, the local media has covered two shocking stories of violence in which the victims were university students. On Wednesday 15th October a young couple, students at Brighton University, fell victim to an unprovoked and vicious attack. The two students were sitting close to the Palace Pier when a stranger approached them at around 1.55am, first verbally abusing them then returning ten minutes later and attacking them. Both students sustained injuries which required stitches, and it is reported that the woman was also sexually assaulted.

Last Friday, a taxi driver was jailed for seven years for the rape of another Brighton University student in June. The crime took place when the woman was coming back to Falmer after a night out with friends, two of whom had left her alone in the taxi unable to pay the fare.

‘From April 2007 to March 2008, 291 Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm took place between 9pm and 4am. In the same period and times there were 192 reported incidences of Common Assault and Battery, 38 fights and 18 counts of Grievous Bodily Harm.’

Sue Heard, Press Officer for Sussex Police, was keen to portray Brighton in a positive light. She asserted that “serious violence has fallen by 20% from last year” and reassures students that “the city is a very safe place to be.”

A closer look at the crime statistics indicates that the number of incidences of serious physical violence has decreased, but the number of common assaults has increased. A report on public place violent crime in the night-time economy also reflects a reduction for most offences.

However, the levels of public place violent crime reported in the last year may still come as a surprise. From April 2007 to March 2008, 291 Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm took place between 9pm and 4am. In the same period and times there were 192 reported incidences of Common Assault and Battery, 38 fights and 18 counts of Grievous Bodily Harm. Crime might be going down, but Brighton by night is still less safe than you may imagine.

Every year, October sees a peak in the number of people admitted to A&E with assault injuries. This indicates a possible connection between the return of students to the city and an increase in public place violence. Whether students are likely to be the victims or perpetrators of assaults is ambiguous, but it seems probable that this rise in the data is more likely to be due to a higher concentration of people on the streets than any other more perturbing conclusions. Ben Parsons, crime reporter for Brighton’s local newspaper The Argus, is all too familiar with the patterns of violence associated with what he calls “a culture of drinking.” Drawing attention to the unpredictability of aggressive behaviour, which can easily escalate from verbal abuse to something more serious, he commented that “students wandering home drunk, being loud and drawing attention to themselves can render themselves vulnerable.” This message was echoed by the Police spokesperson, Sue Heard, who stressed how much more perceptible individuals are to low-level crime such as theft, when over the legal recommendation for alcohol consumption.

There is no doubt that alcohol and binge drinking are at the root of many of the problems. Brighton and Hove City Council estimate that 50% of public place violent crime in the city is alcohol-related, with that figure rising at the weekend. The city also has one of the highest ratios of drinking establishments to people in the country, with 278 pubs between 250,000 residents. The concentration of clubs and pubs in central Brighton, between the West Street and station areas, has been determined by the Council to be causing problems of crime and disorder and public nuisance, and is now subject to a special policy designating it a “Cumulative Impact Area”, aimed at limiting the number of licensed premises.

The demographic of Brighton’s population is also unusual in many respects. 35% of the population is aged between 20 – 39, a figure much higher than the national average. The city is also a magnet for visitors- a massive 8 million a year- from the UK and overseas, many of whom are attracted by the nightlife.

‘There is no doubt that hiding behind the official police figures there are hundreds of unreported incidents.’

As Charlie, a Sussex undergraduate from London, commented: “I reckon you’re more likely to get mugged in London, but in Brighton there are more drunk people just looking to fight.”

Of those respondents to the survey who answered that they had been threatened or felt intimidated, there was a distinct pattern to the type of experience reported. Most incidents seemed to start with verbal aggression, which either did or did not progress into a physical fight. Of those that were involved in fighting or were the victim of assault, no-one involved the police. Why do young people resist involving the authorities?

“There’s nothing they could do,” said one student who wanted to remain anonymous, “It was just a one off anyway. I wouldn’t want those blokes knowing I’d called the police on them in case I ever saw them again.” There is no doubt that hiding behind the official police figures there are hundreds of unreported, low-level incidents.

Worryingly, another type of crime sits alongside this yobbish, random violence. Brighton’s liberal reputation is belied by recent reports of hate crimes. In September, Brighton resident John Percy was severely beaten up in Kemptown and hospitalised in what is believed to have been a homophobic attack. This incident sparked a great deal of discussion in the local community and prompted Argus readers to call for more policing in the St. James Street area. Des Turner, MP for Kemptown, publicly condemned the crime and called on “the police and Brighton and Hove City Council to say what steps they are taking to deal with the continuing violence against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and to set out a plan for reducing homophobic and alcohol related violence on our city’s streets.”

Another worrying trend is the increase in incidences of Racially Aggravated Actual Bodily Harm, which rose from 5 counts in the 2006-2007 period to 18 counts in the 2007-2008 period. The Brighton & Hove Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnership reported that “there is a year on year increase in the number of reports of RRMIs to the common database and this projected to continue.” One respondent to The Badger’s survey said he believed the fight he in which he was involved six months ago was racially aggravated, having been preceded by racist taunts.

Brighton and Hove Police are taking steps to reduce the dangers of public place violence. The crime prevention initiative “Operation Marbles” ensures a high visibility police presence in the city centre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Sue Heard says that police patrols, which are concentrated on West Street, the Lower Esplanade and St James Street, “set the tone for the evening.” Although the weekend evenings may be the prime time for violent crime, this won’t benefit clubbers making the most of “student nights” earlier in the week. And is this concentration of police in the centre enough to make the streets safer for those people who find themselves walking home at night outside of the main proliferation of clubs and pubs?

Until the latest figures of crime rates are collated, it remains to be seen whether or not these efforts are succeeding in making Brighton safer.

Richa Kaul Padte, the University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU) Welfare Officer, gave the following advice for students to stay safe on the streets: “I think basically it’s important to remember that while there are lots of students living in Brighton, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all young people are students and can be trusted in the same capacity. It’s so important to always be cautious, look out for your friends, and make sure you report any incidents to the police.”

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
19 views
19 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
56 views
56 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
98 views
98 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
84 views
84 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
114 views
114 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
152 views
152 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
115 views
115 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
252 views
252 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
195 views
195 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
208 views
208 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
237 views
237 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
7 views
7 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
4 views
4 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018
Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
7 views
7 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
19 views
Arts
19 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
56 views
Arts
56 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
53 views
Film & Theatre
53 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
83 views
Arts
83 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
79 views
Campus News
79 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
116 views
News
116 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
98 views
Arts
98 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
84 views
Interview
84 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
116 views
Lifestyle
116 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
114 views
Lifestyle
114 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
152 views
Arts
152 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
115 views
News
115 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
252 views
Arts
252 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
185 views
Film & Theatre
185 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
195 views
Sports
195 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
208 views
Arts
208 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
237 views
Arts
237 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1296 views1
Campus News
1296 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
7 views
News
7 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

The court of appeal has quashed sentences handed to 3 fracking protestors calling them "manifestly excessive". Jail sentences of 15- 16 months were given to the three…

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit
News
10 views
News
10 views

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, gave a talk on campus. Known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community, he spoke about free speech under attack and…

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
4 views
News
4 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018

The NUS has expressed its support for a national referendum on the final Brexit deal, also referred to as a ‘People’s Vote’. This came after Labour MPs…

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
7 views
Campus News
7 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

An open letter started by Sussex academics has gained over 1,000 signatures. The letter, entitled ‘Open letter from UK academics: The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
19 views
National News
19 views

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
17 views
National News
17 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
44 views
Music
44 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
55 views
Arts
55 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100
Music
93 views
Music
93 views

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100

Ryan Bridgewater - October 5, 2018

Released 28th September Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download   The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced…

News
72 views

Maniac: a madcap adventure into troubled minds

Olek Młyński - October 5, 2018

With the release of Maniac, Netflix once again proves itself as an artistic powerhouse. This mini-series is a whirlwind of creativity containing often confusing, madcap ideas. But,…

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign
Sports
73 views
Sports
73 views

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign

James Cohen - October 4, 2018

In 1988 Nike premiered their, now infamous, “Just Do It” campaign, showing 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge. 30 years and a lot of…

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future
Science
115 views
Science
115 views

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future

ecrm20 - October 4, 2018

My project is about how we can explain the predictions made by machine learning algorithms. For example, if we have an algorithm that tells us whether an…