In April, students residing at our Orchard Lisle and Iris Brook student accommodation contacted your VP Postgraduate Jessica Oshodin and I to report serious security issues to me involving antisocial behaviour and crime directly outside the residence. I worked with concerned residents who had started a grassroots campaign to make Orchard Lisle and Iris Brook safer to initiate discussions with King’s Residences and Fresh Student Living (the accommodation managers). In these discussions, residents and I expressed our concerns and highlighted the risks that students faced due to the lack of a security guard and infrastructural issues such as poor lighting in the area.
As a result of these discussions, we won overnight security at Orchard Lisle and Iris Brook. This is currently provided by Fresh Student Living while King’s is hiring a guard, but upon the completion of that process there will be permanent security cover at Orchard Lisle and Iris Brook (which will be in-housed alongside the rest of King’s security staff). Campus security and Better Bankside wardens have also been asked to conduct additional patrols around Orchard Lisle and Iris Brook.
Some residents and I also met with Councillor William Houngbo (Southwark Council, London Bridge and West Bermondsey ward) to discuss the security issues, and how to improve security and infrastructure in the local area to reduce antisocial behaviour and crime outside the residence. Cllr. Houngbo has made the council regulatory team and other stakeholders aware of this issue, and promised to keep listening to residents should they have further problems. We ended the meeting with a tour, where residents showed Cllr. Houngbo the areas of concern outside Orchard Lisle and Iris Brook.
Our voice is powerful – big or small, we can always make a difference! Find out how to be a grassroots campaigner here, and how to start an official KCLSU-supported campaign here.