Petition to reinstate Street Angels surpasses 1,000 supporters

durham riverbank Les bessantBy

A petition set up to reinstate the Durham Street Angels following the University’s decision to not to renew the “pilot” project has surpassed 1,000 supporters.

Following the deaths of three Durham students in 18 months, the project was founded by student volunteers to provide a safety-blanket for students on Wednesday nights.

The petition, “Bring back the Durham University Street Angels,” was created after the University highlighted that the Street Angels’ patrols in Durham City on nights-out were only ever introduced on a temporary basis.

“On review and after consultation it was considered that student night-time volunteer patrols would not continue,” the University said in a statement.

The petition criticises the University’s decision-making process, questioning “why the University would want to stop a project that keeps its students safe.”

Since its creation two weeks ago, the petition has attracted over 1,000 supporters. Hester Coulthard, mother of Euan Coulthard, who tragically drowned in the River Wear in January, is among those who have signed the petition.

“My beloved son Euan drowned after a night out in Durham, I would not like this to happen to anyone else. Our family is devastated and Euan has lost his life. I would like to see the Street Angels back.”—Hester Coulthard

“My beloved son Euan drowned after a night out in Durham, I would not like this to happen to anyone else. Our family is devastated and Euan has lost his life. I would like to see the Street Angels back,” Ms Coulthard wrote on the Change.org page.

Others have also used the petition to highlight the impact caused by the work of the Street Angels during the last academic year. Jonathan Gillespie wrote, “I saw the impact on the community last year,” while Carr said “this is a really important student service for the well-being of Durham students and it should definitely continue to run and help people.”

Rebecca Gueno signed the petition because she “benefitted from these guys’ great work when [she] was at Durham — given recent events there seems to be a greater need for them now than there was then.

“If Durham University really cared about its students and wanted to continue in the spirit of promoting the ‘Durham Difference,’ it would make the effort to keep the Street Angels on the streets in the interests of student safety,” Rebecca wrote.

The University has defended its decision to put an end to the project, citing that a number of other measures have been put in place to protect students.

“There are a number of measures to address and enhance student safety, such as the night bus service, the Get Home Safe scheme — a taxi service designed to support vulnerable students in getting home safely — and an improved student safety webpage on the University website”, a statement from the University read.

Photograph: Les Bassant

One thought on “Petition to reinstate Street Angels surpasses 1,000 supporters

  • It’s a difficult thing for the uni to back. If they do, they are admitting that this supervision is needed, and they themselves should be paying out for it, rather than relying on the students to police it. And they won’t do that, they have to spend that money on the lottery winning sums they pay the senior management.

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