Pictured at the launch of the Police Service of Northern Ireland Student Safety campaign at Botanic Gardens are (L-R) Alistair Stewart, Head of Public Engagement, Queen’s University, Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick and Duncan Morrow, Professor in Politics and Director of Community Engagement, Ulster University.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, have today launched their student safety campaign.

The campaign aims to encourage safe and respectful behaviour and practices among students beginning or returning to further education.

Speaking at the launch Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said: “The past few years have been difficult ones for our students across Northern Ireland and we are pleased that we are able to see some return to normality for them. The safety of our students and the communities they are moving into is a priority for us.

“We want all students, whether they are studying at university or at one of regional colleges, to be aware of their own safety and the steps they can take to protect themselves. We also want to encourage responsible and respectful behaviour as many students move away from home for the first time and become part of a different community. We want our students to understand the role they play in building safer communities.

“Our campaign will include useful advice and information shared across our social media channels along with patrols and engagement in communities with a large student population to share crime prevention advice.”

Alister Stewart, Head of Public Engagement at Queens University, Belfast said: "We want all our students to achieve their potential while also getting the full benefits of the university experience. For those moving away from home for the first time there is additional responsibilities for both themselves and others and this initiative from the Police Service of Northern Ireland will help them achieve meeting these.

"Being safety conscious, playing a full part in campus life and being mindful of the impact of your behaviour on your neighbours, whether that is on site or in the surrounding area, are vital in achieving a fulfilling and enjoyable experience at University.

Duncan Morrow, Director of Community Engagement at Ulster University added: “One of the most exciting aspects of starting university is arriving on campus or to your accommodation and jumping straight into student life. We want to encourage our students to do this, but to do it safely.”

"We recognise that for some students this is first time they've lived away from home and the first time they've been solely responsible for their own safety. This is a big responsibility so please be assured that help and advice is out there, both from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and from the University, and the Ulster University Students’ Union.

“We know that this year in particular has been tough for our students and there is no getting away from the fact these are still uncertain and challenging times. As Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease we appreciate there remains some degree of uncertainty. Please follow the very latest NI Executive Guidance and we look forward to welcoming you on-campus in September.”

Follow Police Service of Northern Ireland on Facebook - @PoliceServiceNI, Twitter - @PoliceServiceNI and Instagram - @policeservice.ni for crime prevention advice and student safety advice. You can also follow your local police on Facebook and Twitter for information about policing in your community.

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