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Operation Oak

Operation Oak extended for final weeks of term

Published on: 28 May 2018

Newcastle and Northumbria universities are working with Northumbria Police to fund more ‘bobbies on the beat’ in key student areas across the city throughout June.

Through Operation Oak - a £50,000 joint initiative which pays for extra patrols on Friday and Saturday nights during term time - the universities are providing additional funding to pay for more police on the streets every night from today for the next four weeks.

Responding to concerns from local residents about the increase in late night parties following the exam period, the aim is to make sure noise is kept to a minimum to help maintain the good student-resident relations that have been built up over the past year.

Promoting good relations

Marc Lintern, Newcastle University’s Director of Employability and Student Success, said:

“With such large numbers of young people living in residential areas – living different lives and keeping different hours to their neighbours – it’s understandable there have been tensions in certain neighbourhoods of Newcastle.

“This is an issue for most university cities, but at Newcastle University we have been working hard with our colleagues at Northumbria University, the police, council and local residents to tackle the problems and try to improve the relations between our students and their neighbours.

“We have made great progress over the past 12 months and by extending Operation Oak, alongside Newcastle University’s ‘Leave Newcastle Happy’ campaign to clean up the streets, we hope our students will end the academic year on good terms with their neighbours.”

Sue Broadbent, Head of Student Support and Wellbeing at Northumbria University, added:

“We know at this time of year students may take the opportunity to celebrate the end of their studies, but it is vital that they recognise that they need to do so in a respectful way to those around them.

“Operation Oak continues to be an important part of our efforts to remind students about their responsibilities and to be good civic citizens. The contribution of additional funding will allow Northumbria University, along with our city-partners Newcastle University and Northumbria Police, to provide reassurance that we are committed to promoting good relations between students and their neighbours.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Millican said:

“Operation Oak has been a huge success and that would not have been possible without the support of the universities. 

“This type of funding allows us to deploy targeted patrols in student communities to ensure they are safe and keeping out of trouble. 

“We know that some local communities are concerned about noise and anti-social behaviour linked to student properties in Jesmond, Heaton and Shieldfield. 

“The funding provided by the Universities mean we can jointly work to educate the student population in how to be respectful and considerate neighbours to the local communities they live along side. 

“Operation Oak means we can respond to these concerns quickly and take appropriate action to manage community tensions. 

“However, it also gives us an opportunity to engage with students, make sure they are safe and offer them advice to ensure they don’t fall victims to crime.”

Leaving Newcastle Happy

Focussing on four key areas of Jesmond, Sandyford, Heaton and Ouseburn, the extended Operation Oak initiative will run alongside the Leave Newcastle Happy campaign run by Newcastle University’s Students’ Union.

Now in its fourth year, this end of term campaign runs from 4th to the 15th June and combines recycling on behalf of the British Heart Foundation with a two-week clean-up campaign focussed in and around Jesmond.

With the help of both staff and student volunteers, last year’s campaign raised £124,270 for the British Heart Foundation from a total of 6930 bags which were collected by students.

And this year, Newcastle University has paid for rubbish skips that will be located in the main student areas in Jesmond and West Jesmond. It is hoped these will help tackle the problem of large household rubbish from student houses, and reduce the amount that is left in the back lanes at the end of term.

More information about the work Newcastle University is doing to support and guide its students to stay safe, be good neighbours, and make a positive impact on the local community can be found on our Community Living pages.


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