LUU hold referendum over suggested lobbying to light up Hyde Park

A University of Leeds student has called for the Union to do more to ensure that pavements in Hyde Park are better illuminated at night.

Ravi Mistry, a third-year History student, has submitted a referendum on the LUU website asking students if they believe the Union should be doing more to lobby Leeds City Council about lighting up the pathways of Woodhouse Moor Park, more commonly known as Hyde Park, during the evening and night.

The request follows a number of attacks and robberies on passers-by, including a number involving students, that have taken place in Hyde Park over the past few years. 

Speaking to The Gryphon, Ravi explained: “People have been attacked in the park for decades from our university and although some attempts have been made to raise awareness, nothing substantive has been achieved to deter crime.”

“Lighting acts as a deterrent and it makes people aware of their surroundings. A similar campaign was run at the University of Leicester in 2008 and this saw crime reduced. So it does work.”

However, other students have expressed concerns that lighting in the park would lull passers-by into a false sense of security. Commenting on the referendum on the Union website, student Catriona McLaughlin said: “I’m voting no, because this won’t decrease crime rates. Installing lights down the middle of Woodhouse Moor is simply allowing attackers to see their victims, and hide in the MANY shady/dark/wooded areas the light would not hit, making muggings and sexual assaults even easier to commit.”

Fellow student Olivia Pike agreed with Catriona’s point about lights making potential victims more visible, adding “My recommendation is that the outside of the park is lit especially well so people can walk around it.”

Students can vote on the Union website from today until Thursday.

Elli Pugh

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