University of Lincoln 'should pay towards £40k for rowdy students'
Fed-up residents say the University of Lincoln should pay towards an improved £40,000 anti-social behaviour service to deal with rowdy students.
They want a manned, out-of-hours hotline and enforcement officers, who can be sent to incidents as soon as they arise which is often during the early hours.
People from Lincoln's West End say they are suffering sleepless nights due to noise, parties lasting hours, public drunkenness, urinating in gardens, verbal abuse, thefts of road signs and vandalism to cars.
And with more than a quarter of West End properties occupied by students, residents want a cap on the number of house shares.
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They put their case to the university and the city council at a recent Carholme Community Forum.
Leader of the cash-strapped council Ric Metcalfe will now examine if a better anti-social behaviour service could be achieved with the support of other bodies.
This September a total of 90 anti-social behaviour and noise complaints were recorded across Lincoln – 29 less than the previous September.
Yet the highest proportion stem from Carholme ward, with 23 this September, compared to 19 in September last year.
Carholme ward councillor Neil Murray, of Rudgard Lane, said: "The city council provides the anti-social behaviour service but it's only half the service it should be.
"We would like the ASB telephone line manned through the night on Wednesdays and at weekends during term-time and two ASB officers ready to go and tell people they're causing a problem, with matters escalated if necessary.
"This needs to be paid for through a variety of people including the university – the council does not have the resources.
"With the university's help we can beef up the ASB service but they need to contribute."
Gary Hughes, from West End Residents' Association, said that last Friday night people sent him 12 e-mails about students' behaviour in the space of just an hour and a half.
He said: "We are not student bashing.
"It's the behaviour, not the people, that needs addressing. It's worse than ever.
"It's a minority that's ruining it for everyone else.
"They're going out already tanked up but the biggest problem is when they come back in dribs and drabs between 1.30am and 4am.
"Their attitude is almost: 'We can do what we like, it's a student area'.
"The important thing is for people to report anti-social behaviour when it happens.
"But if all they get is an answer machine, by the time any action is taken it's too late.
"People think why bother?"
The university would not be drawn on paying towards an improved ASB service.
But in a joint statement, the university and the Students' Union said all students have been reminded of their responsibilities and community talks held to address the issues.
The statement reads: "We will not allow the behaviour of a small minority to undermine the otherwise excellent community relations that have been built over a number of years through activities like the Carholme Community Gala, and the many hours devoted to community projects by our student volunteers."
Sam Barstow, the council's public protection and anti-social behaviour service manager, said it will continue work with residents to try to keep incidents to a minimum.