Posted in Article, Local events

Locals step up to protect the neighborhood

CITIES across the UK fall prey to crime each night as criminals take advantage of nightfall to terrorise innocent communities shaken with fear.

Southampton Locals no longer feel safe in their own homes, the latest crime statistics on Police.UK establish they are right to feel this way. The data shows that Southampton residents are 20% more likely to be a victim of crime compared to similar cities in the UK such as Portsmouth.

You can sense the fear in the people. Online community forums filled with panic over reports of burglaries, anti-social behaviour and citizens held up at gunpoint. Residents are locking sheds, installing light-triggered motion sensors, and having the police dialled at the ready.

In the SO19 postcode area of Southampton covering Thornhill, Itchen, Sholing, and Woolston. The community is taking a stand, creating the SO19 Neighbourhood watch to combat the crime crisis. Nightly and early morning patrols to ward off potential criminals and reporting anything witnessed to the police.

Citizen patrollers protect themselves through group walks, reporting not intervening, and remaining anonymous. “The reason why we started it, the main reason was everyone has been affected by some sort of crime.” Says one of the founders of the SO19 Neighbourhood watch.

The glooming yellow light from lampposts lining the streets barely denting the surrounding pitch-black night, as small groups of patrolling citizens survey the roads and parks, for suspicious activity. Small walks beginning at nightfall and as winter draws near eight pm is as dark as night. The biggest concern for the patrollers? “Weapons” the Founder explained: “I think the weapons now… it’s a worry, we’ve all got kids, they’ve got to grow up on these estates.”

Over 40% of crime in the SO19 area is violent crimes with over one-thousand-two-hundred and sixty-seven reported crimes in this category between November last year and October this year. In comparison to burglaries with only two-hundred and thirty-five total reported crimes.

“What we’ve achieved I think brought the community a bit closer together in terms of people now find it easier to communicate and tell the police when stuffs happening.” The founder made clear, referencing the SO19 Neighbourhood watch Facebook page with ongoing events such as kid patrols and daily reminder posts on locking your car or reporting a crime to 101.

“My first meeting with the police was about a month ago and they were like we’re not getting reported these crimes so to think what we’ve been doing this past month is making a difference… the fact we’re getting people to actually call the police now.”

“We’ve had issues on how some people portray us. As vigilantes” The Neighbourhood watch is determined to step away from this depiction. “their (the police) happy with what we’re doing. They’ve given us a few more tips and they’ve taken a lot of information from us. It’s really positive.”

PM, Boris Johnson has pledged to put 20,000 new police officers across the UK. This pledge would undo the reduction in police numbers since the Conservatives came to power. Between March 2010 and March 2018, the police in England and Wales lost twenty-one thousand-seven-hundred and thirty-two officers according to Home Office figures.

Southampton Itchen conservative candidate and previously elected MP, Royston Smith spoke on the matter at a hustings event on the 28th: “we need more police on the streets now.” Going onto justify the reductions in police numbers as a response to lower crime statistics and clarifying that police are needed now as the number of violent crimes across the country is on the rise.

Southampton Itchen labour candidate, Simon Letts argued: “twenty thousand is a slogan on every piece of conservative literature. You’ve (conservative party) got on rid of twenty thousand experienced officers and going to replace them with brand new people with no training or experience and recruiting officers will be impossible in the short term.”

Southampton residents are frustrated at the failure of the police to act on the rising crime epidemic. Councillor Christopher Hammond spoke on the matter of the number of officers in Southampton in a recent council meeting. Angry at local police and the crime commissioner’s failure to respond to the request made by the councillor for more police officers.

The lack of officers and the rising crime rates has created a demand for more police action, but the unknown capabilities of the future twenty-thousand police officers pledged by the current government leaves many people across the country wondering what next.


Posted in Article, Local events

Local candidates meet with young voters

SOUTHAMPTON Itchen candidates arrived yesterday to speak with students as the upcoming general election nears closer.

Solent University held the hustings event on the 28th of November to give students the opportunity to question candidates that are running in the upcoming general election with the vote on the 12th.

Candidates from Liberal Democrats, Labour, UKIP, Green Party, and Conservatives answer and discuss with students their aims if elected. Conservative candidate and previously elected MP, Royston Smith said: “infrastructure is needed so the city works, so the economy works.” As well as referring to housing and homelessness explaining a need for estate regeneration.

Simon Letts, labour candidate said: “Everybody that steps out on the streets will see the issue with homelessness which is the tip of homelessness.” explaining the need for investment in mental health and addiction services. Speaking on the environment: “climate change which is a far bigger issue than Brexit.”

Green parties plan to become carbon-neutral by 2030 explained by the candidate, Osman Sen-Chadun was supported by the liberal-democrats. The liberal-democrats New-Forest west candidate and stand-in for candidate Liz Jarvis, Jack Davies said on the matter of Brexit, saying: “Brexit will make us poorer and less influential.”

UKIP candidate, Kim Rose stated: “17.4 million people voted to leave the EU. This isn’t about Brexit it’s about democracy.” Royston stated: “you can remove me from office with a simple cross in a box which you can’t do with the EU.”

Posted in Article, Local events

Southampton opens clock tower doors for public tours

ON NOVEMBER 1st, 2019 Southampton’s civic centre home to Southampton city council, sea-city museum, art gallery, and the library opened the city’s historic clock tower to the public to climb the towers two hundred plus steps.

The Tower once referred to as Kimber’s Chimney after the former mayor, Sidney Kimber, who pioneered the building of the Civic Centre created the tower in the aim of being visible around the entirety of the city at the time, however as Southampton has expanded and high-rise developments have been built those aims of the creation of the tower has been undermined.

Tours of the tower run on the first of every month as an opportunity for locals to look at a part of the heritage of Southampton. The tour guide of this event, Nick Baker on the significance of the clock tower he said: “They wanted it to become a focal point as an iconic structure in the city so everybody could always see.”

The learning and Engagement officer at Southampton City Council, Andrew Skinner said on the importance of historical tours like the clock towers: “if you know where you’ve come from, so if you know the stories of the identity of a place then you have a bit more ownership on who you are.”


Posted in Local events

Pollution Article


This article was created as a part of my journalism coursework and for the Itchen-Express, a college online newspaper. I chose this subject as I felt it related to the subjects talked about within the college community and that students would find interesting.

The articles design featured two images of Southampton’s City Centre. I had taken them myself as a part of primary sourcing and the colour scheme of the double page spread signifies the newspapers iconography.

Posted in Local events, Programme

Southampton Pride 2018 programme

In August 2018 I started a series of programmes looking at local events in Southampton and Hampshire for Itchen Radio. To start this series I looked at the upcoming Southampton Pride event at the Guildhall. I had refined my ability to secure interviews and was more confident in asking the public for vox-pops. This helped as it was much easier to get an interview with a representative of Pride Southampton. One issue I had faced is the lack of professional equipment as it was summer break and I was unable to access College equipment which I wanted to use for my vox-pops and interview. because of this the quality of the audio for them was not as good as I would have liked.

Having a positive representation of gay people in our community is extremely important in our current political and social environment and the reasoning for Pride to be the first event shown in a series of local event programmes is that I want for this community of people to see the representation in our local area and for any Itchen students to feel included into Itchens Society as well as feeling apart of Southampton.

The programme begins live with the presenter Joe introducing the show and what were going to be talking about today. It was quite different working with a group and a few of the people within the group were unknown to me, this caused some benefits and disadvantages.

This was my first live programme across Itchen College and so i feel my segment in the programme wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, though I am still proud of the outcome.

the benefits to working in a group were that we spread the work load with each other though some members needed more help than others to get their scripts together. I was tasked with getting an interview and vox-pops. This task I was confident in since I’ve had many successes in the past with securing interviews. The other tasks included writing scripts for each segment, I had helped in each since my work was already completed at this point. I gained many ideas from my group as they showed me how they present themselves on radio which I compared my own methods and improved upon based on their input.

A few disadvantages working with a group is that we were all on different skill levels in our confidence when it comes to speaking live on radio. Some nervousness from the first segment rattled the rest of us which I feel can be seen during the show. Now I know this I will need to try and stay calmer for future programmes. I also noticed our levels of organisation varied wildly. With a few people ready and completed a few days before and others typing their script at the last few minutes before we went live. This showed me that in future if i work with these people again I may need to organise others as well as myself.

after Luke’s segment on gay representation in the music and media industry was my segment on Southampton Pride which occurred during the summer a few weeks before coming back to college. In this time before college I had collected the vox-pops at the event and organised and interview a day after. Because i wasn’t in college at the time I could not get access to the voice recording equipment which I needed. Instead I used my phones voice recorder which wasn’t industry standard but did work for what I needed.