A PARTNERSHIP between police and a university has seen a reduction in the number of noise and anti-social behaviour complaints from residents as students settle into life in the city.

The new joint initiative between the University of Chester and Cheshire Constabulary has reportedly enabled students to settle into their new home as quickly and as smoothly as possible and resulted in a positive impact on community relations.

With term now fully underway, the university’s community liaison manager and the Garden Quarter police beat manager have seen a reduction in complaints relating to anti-social behaviour, including a low number of noise complaints.

Special constables have been patrolling the Garden Quarter area with regular police – providing reassurance to both longer-term residents and students.

It’s all part of Operation Cherokee, which aims to give esential advice, guidance and warnings to the student population.

The operation was part of an ongoing working relationship between the university and the police throughout the year, every year, to keep both students and the local community safe and prevent or alleviate any problems.

PC Jack Bostock, the Garden Quarter beat manager, said: “The operation has been a success in terms of reducing crime and
anti-social behaviour.

“We worked with the university to educate students about issues such as sexual violence, drugs and their expected behaviour in the community.

“The addition of special constables to the operation this year has provided a welcome boost and has been commented upon positively by students and the wider Garden Quarter community.

“A measure of the success would be having no noise complaints during Induction Week in the Garden Quarter and lower crime figures than in previous years.”

One of the specials who took part was Michael Grant, from Wrexham.

Michael, who is also a student at the university, chose to become a Special to gain an insight into policing and give something back to the community.

In his role during the operation, he joined other specials to be a visible presence at night and engage with students and members of the community.

He said: “The operation ran well and the students and members of the public that we spoke to stated they felt safer by seeing officers patrolling the area during busy times.

“The public generally reported that they felt comfortable speaking to the officers, as we were approachable and friendly.”

Michael has ambitions to work in different specialist roles in the police, such as the Roads Unit and Crime Scene Investigation department after his studies.

In an effort to educate its students about responsible community behaviour, the university sends incoming undergraduates information welcoming them to the ‘Communiversity’ of Chester.

Community liaison manager Louise Collins said: “To reinforce that first message we invited our new undergraduates who are living in University accommodation to a Welcome to the City of Chester talk on the day they moved in, given by Matt Baker, Garden Quarter resident, PC Jack Bostock and PCSO Dan Pheasey and Chester Students’ Union.

More than 1,000 students attended and all speakers emphasised the need to act responsibly, while also welcoming the new students to the city.

Louise added: “From a university perspective, I have received a very low number of complaints about anti-social behaviour during Freshers’ Week.

“We would like to thank our students for enjoying their Freshers’ Week, while taking these messages on board.”