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When the “Bath Bubble” gets popped: crime’s effect on our students

Studying in Bath we are fortunate enough to be relatively sheltered. As we make our way into the world independently for the first time, crime is the last thing on our minds. We move into student houses with our friends, parents having dropped off cars full of possessions, and we are care-free (or simply too stressed about deadlines and exams to worry about anything else). We do not realise that this makes us targets for crime, and most of us are lucky enough to never find out. But for Adam, this became his reality just a few weeks ago. 

“We do not realise that this makes us targets for crime, and most of us are lucky enough to never find out”

One week after he moved back to Bath for his fourth year at university, Adam’s house was robbed. His housemates had friends over that night, and he had gone to bed early, deciding he could trust them to lock the door when they left… He slept peacefully through the night, until he woke up when his alarm usually goes off – except it hadn’t. Confused, he looked for his phone and it wasn’t there. His backpack and laptop were gone too, along with some jackets and alcohol. He woke up his housemates to find that they had all been robbed.

Forgetting to lock the door is something students commonly do, and never think much of. Luckily for Adam, the police and local residents were able to recover most of his belongings, but the impact the crime had on his final year of university cannot be undone. Beyond the stress of being without his notes and university work, it tainted his new room, ruining his fresh start in a new house. His advice to other students is to be prepared in case this happens to you. Simple things like getting house insurance, backing up your files on a memory stick, and making sure your housemates lock the door can save you a lot of distress that no one has time for at university. 

“Forgetting to lock the door is something students commonly do”

However, as diversity increases amongst our generation, malicious crime against these indiviudals can take place. This is something that Lucy discovered recently when she was victim to a transphobic hate crime that landed her in A&E. After the club closed that Wednesday evening, she decided to get a takeaway with her girlfriend, stopping off at Kingsmead Square to take cash out. It was there that a group of guys came up to them asking what their names were. When they told them, they refused their answers and asked for their birth names. Lucy decided to talk back to them and asked why it mattered. The next thing she knew she was waking up in a taxi on the way to hospital. One of the men had slapped and headbutted her, smashing her head on a pillar and leaving her unconscious. Her attack has left her with a constant headache for weeks, a concussion and weeks of missed lectures. She said she wouldn’t change how she handled the situation, but she does wish that the University provided more support for victims, such as help with filing police reports, as she is still struggling through this process now. Crime always seems distant, and unlikely to happen to you, especially in a place like Bath, but crime can happen to any of us and until crime stops, we can’t stop staying vigilant.

If you have been a victim of crime in Bath, contact Security on campus as well as Student Services (Level 2 of the Students’ Union) for more support.

Chloe Coules

Chloë is the Design Editor for 2019/20 and regularly writes thought-provoking articles and investigations of inclusivity on campus.

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