Sheffield universities among safest in country

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SHEFFIELD is one of the safest university cities in the country – according to campus crime rates based on official police data.

In Yorkshire only York has a lower crime rate – with Leeds, Hull, Bradford and Huddersfield all recording more offences.

Sheffield also has the lowest rate of violent crime in the region, according to figures covering the year up to May 2012 compiled by the independent Complete University Guide.

Nationally, universities in London, Manchester and Leeds were found to be clustered in the most crime-prone areas.

Police do not log crimes directly affecting students, so researchers looked at three types of incidents most likely to affect them – burglary, robbery and violence.

In wards within a three mile radius of Sheffield University there were 1.65 incidents logged per 1,000 residents. Hallam’s figure was slightly higher, at 1.70.

Guide spokesman Bernard Kingston said it would be more reassuring if the information on crime rates was officially released by the universities themselves.

“We want potential students to be able to assess the risks for individual institutions with much greater precision. It is clearly a matter of considerable concern when considering where to study as an undergraduate.

“Quality of tuition and the prospects for employment after graduation are key elements, but it is important not to overlook other aspects of the environment in which a student will be living.

“Our university cities do not exist in isolation from the communities within which they are located, and, regrettably, crime is a constant presence.”

It is estimated that a third of students become victims of crime, mainly theft and burglary, and about 20 per cent of student robberies occur in the first six weeks of the academic year.