Posted on Tue 02 Jun 2015 at 16:41 by George Bradley
Forgive me for the punny title, I just had to grab your attention. There's a campus-wide vote going on at the moment about whether we should lobby Leeds City Council to put lights on Woodhouse Moor AKA Hyde Park. I'm voting NO (and leading the NO argument), and encourage you to vote NO too. Here's why.
Voting against the Idea isn't 'giving in' to criminals as has been suggested - the entire park would have to be lit, as well as installing CCTV and increasing Police presence to make the area truly safe. This would be a HUGE amount of money that is better spent elsewhere, in a time of MASSIVE cuts to the City Council. It's just not affordable. Four years ago, a petition was brought to Leeds City Council to do this. The Council decided against it (read the response here http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=23) noting that lights 'could allow perpetrators to lurk in darker areas or behind tree cover'. Lighting up the paths would make people well-lit targets for potential crimes to occur. It would give people a false sense of security that they'll be safe walking through the park at night.
I've also heard the argument 'we all know the risks but we all walk through there anyway'. This blasé attitude to safety is not an attitude we should be pushing hard for LUU to adopt with a YES vote, and as your Community Officer this year, I don't want to see an organisation with a duty of care to its 31,000 students to take that approach.
A 'NO' vote still recognises the need for student safety, and means we need to continue working with the Council, Police, residents and other organisations to coordinate safety messages and info on how best to keep people safe in the area.
MAKE SURE you have your say, click the link, read the motions FOR and AGAINST, read the comments, and get informed before you make a snap response. Ideally vote NO obviously, but yeah.