Living on a knife edge

James Porteous

It is somewhat depressing to have to report on crime in the first issue of Guardian this university year – especially considering the lead story in the first issue last year related to a sexual attack on a young woman in the West End. Sadly, in 2006, the paper also reported on the killing of a twenty-one year old student, who was beaten to death during a night out on Sauchiehall Street.

This year (as reported), a female fresher was mugged just outside the Murano Street student halls – following the incident, a fellow student took umbrage with the robbery and recovered her bag from her assailants.

While it is refreshing to know that the social detritus that committed this particular crime got away with nothing, and that people are still willing to stand up to petty criminals, it is incredibly unwise for anyone to risk their life over a mobile, a wallet or a handbag. In this case, nobody involved was hurt, but all it takes is for the assailant to have a kitchen knife in their pocket, and the lack of intelligence and humanity to use it – Guardian would then be reporting on something a lot worse than a failed mugging.

The realistic picture of Glasgow is similar to that of most other major cities — it does have a grubby, unwanted underside, and students will invariably encounter it in some way during their time studying at the University.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to see how the student body can do anything more proactive than to hope things get better; violent crime is being driven down in Glasgow, and the police are fighting to combat the knife culture that has blighted the city, so things should improve, given time. But for now, assume that any cretin who says they have a knife does, believe them when they say they will use it, and don’t risk your neck to keep hold of the contents of your pockets.


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