By George Watkins
The Talybont student residential area saw 8 incidents of drug crime in the academic year 2016-17, according to new statistics obtained from South Wales Police. There have been 2 so far for 2017-18.
The complex, including the Court, South, North and Gate residences, saw all drug-related incidents cease completely outside of term time. Cardiff University has a strict no tolerance policy, similar to most other institutions, but it is clear that more needs to be done to prevent the distribution and usage in accommodation owned by the University.
Speaking to students, the ease of which drugs could be obtained at halls of residence was surprising. One student noted: “If you don’t have a number for a dealer, it’s not hard to find someone who does”, suggesting that “most of my friends have at least dabbled”.
Another noted: “Since I arrived in Cardiff, I was amazed and concerned about the quantity and availability of drugs around uni halls.” She raised her concerns about the matter, admitting: “I’ve been feeling pretty uneasy about the whole subject, it feels like its something that everyone knows, but no one questions or talks about.”
One was more blunt: “Look out of the window on Llanbleddian gardens, Ruthin Gardens, anywhere in the student village. What you will see is a large number of drug deals. Most students are just a text and a 30 minute wait from anything they want. If there’s anything you can’t get, there’s someone you know who can get it.”
Also, there were 20 incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour reported, most commonly in the early hours of the morning. Concerns have been raised in recent months about the behaviour of students on nights out, with events such as the destruction of a bus stop by student revellers troubling authorities at Cardiff’s universities.
It is clear that there is a deep gulf between University policy and the behaviour of students in their private lives, or after a night out. How this is best tackled remains to be seen, and until this point, it is more than probable that criminal incidents will continue to be reported.