Women could request CCTV coverage via a mobile app
Some £400,000 of government funding will go into making the streets of Lincoln safer for women, including the development of a phone app which enables women to be monitored by CCTV on their walks home.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones bid for funding for the scheme, which has now been given government backing.
The money will come from the government’s safer streets fund and will include developing curriculum materials for key stage five which promote women’s rights, encouraging more reporting of crimes and broadening Lincoln city centre’s CCTV coverage.
As well as this, a campaign will be funded to change attitudes and challenge social norms based on gender stereotypes, plus promoting positive behaviour in society.
Part of the plan will see a mobile app developed which would enable users to make their location known to City of Lincoln Council’s CCTV control room, meaning that they can be monitored to ensure safety.
All elements of the plan will be co-developed with women and girls as well as experts in the field, in response to the tragic case involving Sarah Everard, when Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered her during a walk home in London earlier this year.
Police & Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police
This bid is the third successful safer streets bid for Lincolnshire so far, with PCC Marc Jones bringing £500,000 in additional funding for projects in the north and east coast of the county.
Mr Jones said: “The project is one of the most significant steps ever taken to protect women and girls in Lincoln.
“It is designed to tackle the problem of keeping them safe through education, technology, training, heightened awareness and partnership working and I hope this holistic approach will provide long lasting solutions.
“This is just one step on a journey towards ensuring women and girls can be and feel safe but I believe it is a very important one.”
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Meet the University of Lincoln’s new Vice Chancellor
Professor Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
Professor Neal Juster, the University of Lincoln’s new Vice Chancellor, holds in his hands the beating heart of Lincoln’s economy.
As 4,000 new students embark on their journeys with the university this week, so too does its new leader, in a new post-pandemic world no less.
The university, which now contributes £430 million to the local economy each year, has in many ways been the making of the modern Lincoln. From humble beginnings, with just 500 students, it is now home to almost 18,000 in total.
It’s the job of Professor Juster to continue the institution’s trajectory of growth and success, a path which he anticipates will encompass the education of between 25,000 and 30,000 students in the next decade.
Neal Juster overlooking the Brayford Pool, reshaped in modern times by the arrival of the University of Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
Neal steps up to the helm after Professor Mary Stuart announced her retirement. Mary held the position of Vice Chancellor at the university for 12 years, seeing it rise from 117th to 17th in the national league tables – and it was this year named the Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year.
Neal joins Lincoln from his former role as Deputy Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice Principal at the University of Glasgow, where he oversaw strategies encompassing a £1 billion expansion and redevelopment of the campus.
His career in education spans 30 years, including key roles at the University of Leeds and Strathclyde. He holds directorships of several successful business start-ups and has written a number of books and papers on the subjects of design education, computer aided design and manufacturing, and rapid prototyping.
Neal, who was born in Kingston, South London, was sponsored through university (a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at Leeds) by the Royal Navy. His time in the Navy, passing out at Dartmouth and onto ships including HMS Antrim when the Falklands War started, gave him officer training he has appreciated when embarking on leadership roles.
Neal Juster speaks to The Lincolnite about his ambitions for the future of the university | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
Remembering what pulled him to the job at the University of Lincoln, Neal said: “It’s really the whole story of Lincoln and the difference that it’s made to the city, where Lincoln has come from in 25 years.
“That whole narrative arc is just a chapter in a book and I would hope that, in 200 years time they look back and I could help write the second or third or fourth chapter of the university. I really think it’s a university where I can help make a difference.”
Keeping a steady pace, a new building has been developed on the Brayford campus every year for a decade, and Neal now wants to focus on making sure the estate is fit for purpose.
“New buildings always look very sexy, and you can raise money for new buildings, but you can’t forget the existing stock.”
Neal hopes to help build “an agile and curious university that thinks for itself… a bit like The Lincolnite,” he added. “You have to adapt to the world around you.”
The university was certainly tested on its adaptation abilities when a global pandemic rolled in.
“Has university education changed forever? I don’t think it will go back to exactly how it was, but I don’t think there will be a huge shift,” Professor Neal Juster told The Lincolnite.
Students are social animals. They come to university to develop their minds and their social skills, and they are building networks.”
University of Lincoln Vice Chancellor Neal Juster | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
Lessons from the pandemic may well mean online learning is retained in some form permanently, as course items or possible short courses to reach more students.
While Professor Juster did not agree with calls for COVID student refunds, he said he sympathised with the pressure students have been under: “We have worked really hard to ensure the learning outcomes are there, and their social, health and wellbeing are being looked after as well.”
He has a vision of a more international university, expanding on the 140 nations currently studying there.
“Many universities across the UK might say we’re overexposed to China at the moment. And although we will clearly accept, and would like to attract Chinese students, I think this is a different university that has a really broad spread of countries from which we attract students.”
Neal wants to expand postgraduate studies, and incubate home-grown research and enterprise which leads to “products and services that are actually helping society to live healthier, longer and better.”
“I’d like to bring people back after they’ve done their first degree, so they remain able to contribute to the local economy.
“It’s working then with the city, with the major companies, and also helping graduates to create new companies. So there’s that ability to grow the economy.”
For Neal, the first few months of his reign will be spent writing strategies for the university’s future. An important focus, he explained, will be the student experience. One of his first duties was to meet with the team at the university’s Students’ Union.
His work in the Navy meant he missed out on the right of passage dubbed Freshers’ Week, but he fondly recalled his first student days meeting friends he remains close to today.
Whilst he has politely declined to make up for lost time, and won’t be spotted at a foam party this week at Quack! at the Engine Shed, he did share a message to students stepping onto the campus for the first time:
“Get out there and enjoy it, but don’t go overboard. Try and meet new people, and if you are finding anything tough, a friend or a member of staff can help you.”
Some council areas back in top 100
| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
There were 607 new cases of coronavirus in Greater Lincolnshire on Tuesday, as several districts are back in the top 100 for infection rates.
Infection rate data released on Monday showed North Lincolnshire was now the fourth highest authority for infections with a rate of 699.9 per 100,000 population. Last week it was 26th highest. The England average is 339.6.
However, where two weeks ago Greater Lincolnshire’s councils were below the 100th highest mark, five authorities now sit on or above it.
West Lindsey, which last week was 205th highest has seen a spike in the last seven days, bringing it now to 56th and an infection rate of 493.8.
Meanwhile, South Kesteven has gone from 175th to 74th with an infection rate of 464.3 per 100,000 population.
Both East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils are also in the top 100, however, where ELDC has risen from 191st to 95th, South Holland has instead moved down the chart from 81st to 100th on the dot.
Lincolnshire’s infection rates from September 14 to October 4 | Table: Daniel Jaines, Data: Gov.UK
Two other authorities to move down the table are North East Lincolnshire and Lincoln. However, North East Lincolnshire is the only one of the two to see a decrease in its infection rate from 348.9 to 329.4.
The latest COVID stats for Lincolnshire are:
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the latest data supports sticking to “plan A” for England going into winter.
Mr Johnson told LBC Radio: “We have got to be humble in the face of nature and we have got to recognise that the disease, or a new variant or another pandemic, could always hit us.
“The data that I see at the moment is very clear that we are right to stick to plan A, which is what we are on.”
He said he wanted to encourage people back to work “in the normal way”.
The current path will see a reliance on booster jabs and test and trace systems to get the most vulnerable through the winter.
However, the government has previously confirmed it has a “plan B” which would include compulsory masks, social distancing and other measures.
Latest figures from the Department for Education have estimated that around 204,000 children did not attend school due to COVID last Thursday – up from 122,000 the previous week.
Data shows that 89.5% of students were in class on 30 September, compared with 91.9% on 16 September.
Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) member Professor Neil Ferguson has said more needs to be done to speed up vaccinations for children and booster jabs.
He told Sky that there was not much “headroom” for rising cases before the NHS becomes “heavily stressed”.
118,570 cases (up 607)
2,351 deaths (up one)
of which 1,416 hospital deaths (no change)
Street is closed until further notice
The scene of the incident off West Parade. | Photo: The Lincolnite
An old shop under renovation in the West Parade area of Lincoln collapsed on Tuesday afternoon.
It is understood that the incident on the West Parade/Rudgard Lane Junction closed the street at around 4pm on October 5.
Both the Lane and West Parade now blocked due to flatbed delivering the machinery.