Police Appeal for Witnesses following Alma Road Robbery

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Police are conducting door-to-door interviews in Portswood as part of the investigation into a robbery which occurred on Alma Road in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A 19-year-old man was approached by three men at around 3am on May 5 as he walked home from a night out along Alma Road. The attackers had their faces covered with scarves.

They demanded cash and punched the victim, one of them also head-butting him. He fell to the ground and the men robbed him of some change before running across Portswood Road and escaping along Spring Crescent.

The three suspects are described as White, aged around 19-20, between 5ft 10 inches and 6ft 2 inches tall.

It is not clear whether the victim was a student. He had been walking with a friend, but the two had parted ways shortly before the attack.

No arrests have been made so far, and police are urging locals to take basic safety precautions and avoid walking home alone at night.

If this kept happening anywhere other than Portswood, something would have been done about it by now. People here are used to this sort of thing.

A student living on neighbouring Gordon Avenue commented:

Anybody who witnessed the incident, or has any other information regarding the crime is asked to call Detective Constable Janine Bradley at Bitterne CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Discussion1 Comment

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    Firstly, terrible to hear this man was robbed, and I hope the local police do their best to track down the assailants.

    In response to the standard comment from a student added to the article which suggests that Portswood is a terrible area and no one cares, I would point out the article (quoted below) which flatly contradicts the commonly quoted misapprehension that Portswood has high crime levels compared with other student areas around the country.

    The simple fact is that students going home alone or drunk late at night put themselves at unnecessary risk for one, and are often the ones causing the anti-social behaviour which makes up the bulk of the crime reports! This does not put the blame on the victim, far from it. But the majority of residents fortunately do not ever encounter such problems, and this is largely because they do no put themselves in situations where they may be vulnerable.

    Let’s face it, the country is in recession. While there are always a few have nots in the population who are willing to steal from those that they think have it easy, its not going to be any better now when unemployment rates are high, and benefits are being cut, particularly for those who the government work out didnt qualify for the benefits in the first place. Do you really want to put yourself in the situation where you have had a few drinks, are a bit woozy, not quite sure where you are, and are wandering home alone in the early hours of the morning? The sort of hooligans who are going to target students (male or female) know where they can easily find drunk and isolated students at 3am, whether it is for robbery or more disturbing crimes. It doesnt protect you being a male student, they will just have enough of them to overwhelm you if they really want to have a go. The simple answer is to do your best not to be in that situation. Use nightbuses, use taxis, if you are going to be out really late, go home in groups (and all kip at your mate’s houses, dont end up splitting up and becoming isolated as you get closer to home in the middle of student bedsit land)

    Please heed the advice in this article, and be back home by a sensible time, and walk home in groups, and hopefully we can see such incidents reduced to even lower levels than we have at present.

    Most locals who go out for a quiet drink in the nice local pubs and restaurants, who remain reasonably sober throughout, and are back home by midnight for a last drink or snack never come across the problems perceived and indeed sadly but rarely experienced by some students.

    Such attacks are rare, but you can almost entirely eliminate the chances of being a victim of such crimes by being back home by midnight, not drinking so much that you are not aware of your surroundings when you walk home, and walking home with a friend or two.

    Noone is suggesting that students shouldnt have fun, but lets not forget, you are actually here for the main reason of getting a degree, and these days you pay substantially for the privilidge of doing so. Why not get a reasonably early night so you can get up in the morning (you know, that time when Phil are on TV) and finish that essay without requiring another extension, and you will be able to enjoy a few more nice nights out without having to drink to forget how far behind you are with your studies….

    It’s a tough world out there after Uni, and unemployment is high amongst newly qualified graduates. If you are in your beds before midnight you may have a chance of getting a decent class of degree, and getting one of the few jobs that are out there!

    ———————————————————————
    Alice Gray’s article:

    Mention the word Portswood and chances are the conversation will go in one of two ways: either people will begin to recount various drunken escapades in Jesters and/or Sobar or a story they heard about a friend of a friend whose house was broken into or who was followed home by some creepy guy.

    But just how bad is Portswood really? How many of the stories that wind their way around campus are actually true? Is it actually as crime-riddled as we all think?

    We’ve all heard horror stories in the news about the assaults and attacks on students, made more worrying by the fact they are so close to home. With more and more reports of crimes in Portswood, should we be worried about living there? With a high percentage of Southampton students residing in the area, it surely cannot be as bad as people claim it is.

    According to the website http://www.police.uk (which records statistics for reported crimes in the U.K.) crime rates in Portswood fell between 2009 and 2010. This lower level of crime – around 70-recorded crimes per 1,000 of the population- remained level for 2011, leaving Portswood with a crime level in line with the national average. However, a closer look at specific types of crimes shows that there were three areas which were above the national average: Shoplifting, Public disorder & Possession of weapons and Violent Crime.

    Looking at the statistics for Feburary of this year (the most recent numbers they have) 433 crimes were reported in total, with 175 of those cases being for anti-social behaviour; in an area that is regularly filled with drunken students, this isn’t really all that surprising. There were only 2 cases of robbery making it the lowest reported type of crime.

    Whilst doing some research for this article I had a look through all of the crimes that Wessex Scene has reported on so far this year. In total I counted 7, the majority of which concerned the sexual assualts that occurred towards the beginning of the year. Numbers of sexual assaults increased by 3.77% between 2010-2011 in the whole of England, and by 1.06% in Hampshire.

    Unfortunate as it may be, the fact is that anywhere that has a lot of women going out, in many cases drinking and then often walking home alone there is going to be an increased risk of sexual assault. Thankfully however, it is a form of crime for which you can reduce the risk, relatively easily:

    1) Make sure you don’t leave your drink unattended at any time or if you do don’t drink it. It is worth spending another £2 if it prevents you drinking a spiked drink.

    2) NEVER walk home alone! We have all been there when you lose your friends, or they don’t want to leave at the same time as you and you don’t want/ don’t have enough to pay for a taxi alone. But with the new taxi scheme (which involves you leaving your ID with the driver then going to SUSU to pay for your taxi fare the next day), not having enough cash is no longer an excuse. Yet again, those few extra pounds could be the difference between a safe ride home and the worst night of your life.

    I’m sure that these are all things that we have been told a thousand times before, but there is a reason for that! And remember boys: it is just as important that you are careful too.

    Obviously everywhere has crime and it turns out that in comparison, levels in Portswood are largely the same as/lower than many other university areas. Using http://www.crimerates.co.uk I compared Portswood to Norwich, Exeter and Portsmouth; in all three cases Portswood came out as the safer place to live. Now obviously I know that these are bigger cities, so crime rates are more likely to be higher, but this site works by looking at crime rates in relation to population size. In the case of Norwich, Portswood had higher rates of burglary and vehicle crime and Exeter had higher rates of burglary but Portsmouth had higher rates in all areas.

    So having done the research and played around with various interactive graphs and tables, it turns out that Portswood isn’t all that bad a place to live.”

    http://www.wessexscene.co.uk/features/2012/05/30/in-terms-of-crime-levels-just-how-bad-is-portswood-really/

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