According to police crime data, 506 crimes were committed on or near Wind Street and were reported to the police between January and September this year.
The most common type of crime to occur is anti-social behaviour offences with as many as 228 out of the 506 falling into this category. The second most common type of crime was violent and sexual offences with a staggering 118 reports in the past nine months.
In a survey conducted by The Waterfront, 84% of students reported to have felt threatened or intimidated on a night out and nearly all of the female participants said that they had felt intimidated by a member of the opposite sex.
Third year student, Lucy Topham said, “The worst for people fighting was Freshers week. It was mainly guys who were being endlessly carried out of clubs and fights broke out on the street quite regularly. I remember breaking up a few fights that had happened between girls in the ladies toilets!”
Despite a rise in female violence in which 63% said they had witnessed aggression or violence from one female toward another, and another 63% said they had witnessed
abusive behaviour by females towards males, men are still coming away with the worst reputation for violence on a night out.
100% of students surveyed said they had witnessed a physical conflict between two or more males and 50% claimed they had witnessed violence or aggression toward females.
Violence and aggression pose a risk to students enjoying a night out on the town and also pose a threat to the city’s and the university’s reputation. The concern is that figures such as these may deter potential students from considering Swansea as a choice university.
However students are not always the victims. A number of reports have been filed against students of the university, especially members of sports teams on notorious student night, ‘Play On Wednesdays’. 43% of survey participants said that they had been involved in an act or violence during a night out and all but one of the men surveyed said that they had been caught up in a fight.
First year student, Connor Davies said,“A couple weeks before Halloween I saw two guys throwing punches down the street as I was going into Fiction. It seemed to cool off fairly quickly though, and as I was with mainly ladies who looked incredibly nervous, I didn’t stop to watch how it ended.
I’ve seen a few similar instances while out clubbing, one or two specifically on Wind Street. I haven’t been involved in violence on Wind Street myself, although that’s mainly as a result of keeping my cool than a lack of possibility.
The worst venues for violent outbursts were student-night favourites and sports team sponsors Idols and Fiction. According to statistics collected in the survey, 51% had seen violent or aggressive acts occur on the premises.
The survey asked participants to rank the following options from most likely to least likely cause a fight; Ego/Reputation, Racism, Rows over the opposite, sporting conflicts and previously unresolved issues. Ego and reputation emerged
as the primary reason, followed by previous unresolved issues and rows over the opposite sex.
Interestingly, male participants almost always voted rows over the opposite sex as most likely where as female participants almost always chose ego and repuatation.
In order to combat violence on the streets, Swansea became part of the ‘One Punch Ruins Lives’ campaign to remind party-goers of the consequences of a stray punch. Posters proliferated around the city centre show the devastating physical injuries and psychological effects that can be caused by a single punch.
30% of students surveyed said they had seen a serious injury as a result of a fight.
The campaign also reminds heavy-handed party-goers the consequences of their actions and the sentences they expect for cases of battery, assault and even manslaughter.
However students were also quick to defend the city. Lucy said, “I think in Swansea it’s better than a lot of places, I have never heard of any weapons and most ‘fights’ are just squaring up and not much else!”
Door staff, police and support services work long into the night during weekends and popular weekday student nights to ensure the safety of the public. 84% of students said they had seen someone being physical removed by security on a night out whilst 67% recorded police involvement in dealing drunk and disorderly behaviour. 40% said that this involvement had resulted in an arrest.
South Wales Police said: “Wind Street attracts thousands of people every week who come to Swansea to enjoy what the city has to offer. There is a high concentration of licensed premises in a relatively small area of the city centre.
The safety and well -being of visitors is our priority as we want Swansea to be a vibrant and safe place to enjoy a night out.”