Cheltenham is one of the safest places to study

Cheltenham is a safe place to study according to a survey by The Complete University Guide.

The borough was ranked as the top safest place in statistics of violent crime, and came ninth out of 104 places in total across the country for the lowest overall crime figures.

The data, compiled from www.police.uk from June 2011 to May 2012, correlates crime and population for wards falling within three miles of the main campus for burglary, robbery and violent crime, normalised for population density.

Trevor Gladding, community protection team leader, said: “We’re really pleased to see Cheltenham ranked so highly in this survey. Cheltenham has a vibrant ‘night-time economy’ that far exceeds other towns of similar size. On a busy weekend up to 10,000 people visit the town to enjoy the rich variety of bars, restaurants and clubs that the town has to offer.

“Following the introduction of the Reducing Alcohol Related Violence (RARV) Project in 2007 Cheltenham has been at the forefront of measures to ensure public safety in relation to licensed premises.

The Project Group membership which includes council officers, police, university, health, elected members and the Chair of Nightsafe have been working on many different initiatives to ensure that Cheltenham remains a safe and pleasant place in which to work or visit.

Some of these initiatives include:

  • In 2008/9, door supervisors working at venues in Cheltenham received enhanced training in conflict management. The value of this training has been nationally recognised.
  • Taxi marshals have been introduced at weekends for the busy rank in the Promenade, helping to get revellers home quickly and safely. The project has also been heavily involved in the introduction of the Street Pastor scheme to Cheltenham in December 2009.
  • 2010 has seen the introduction of Best Bar None; a national accreditation scheme which ensures that venues are properly and professionally operated and run.
  • Innovative campaigns promoting responsible drinking and the availability of non alcoholic alternatives have been run at Christmas and during alcohol awareness week in October.
  • Superstars Xtra Project where volunteer students from the University of Gloucestershire have been trained to security industry standards which allow them to professionally supervise students visiting the town centre on busy student nights.

Councillor Peter Jeffries, cabinet member for housing, safety and communities, added: “The work of the Group is ongoing but the results of the various initiatives are evident by Cheltenham’s ranking on the survey. Levels of violent crime in Cheltenham have been dropping year on year too. It’s reassuring to know that we offer a safe environment for students to study.”

Inspector Tim Waterhouse from the local policing team for Cheltenham, said: “It’s fantastic news that Cheltenham has rated highly on this list. We truly believe it is down to the great partnership working between the University, the police, the Council and, of course, the students themselves.

“With a vibrant night life and a thriving university it’s important to us that the students feel safe in the town and joint initiatives, such as the Superstars scheme, have helped us reduce crime and keep the whole community safe.”

Stewart Dove, Director of Student Support at the University of Gloucestershire, commented: "The University is delighted with the news. We take student welfare very seriously and we want all our students to have the best possible living, as well as learning experience. There is much positive partnership work between the police, the council, members of the local community and the University to do all we can to help improve the safety of the student community, and this result highlights the importance of such an approach."

To see the table visit The Complete University Guide's website.