ARFS joins in Parker’s Piece fight

Victoria Akinsowon 14 November 2013

Anglia Ruskin Feminist Society have come out in support of plans to improve lighting on Parker’s Piece following concerns about public safety at night. This follows a spate of violent attacks that have occurred on Parker’s Piece in recent years and a long CUSU campaign demanding improvement.

Lauren Steele, CUSU Women’s Officer, told The Cambridge Student, “The Women’s Campaign has been campaigning with CUSU through the Right to Light Campaign for over a decade, sparked by a sexual assault against a student on Parker’s Piece.

“The NUS Hidden Marks Report 2010 found that 1 in 20 students will be raped and 1 in 7 will be sexually harassed during their time as a student. Lighting implemented in Parker’s Piece in January is a step towards improving the safety of students at night as students cross the Park in darkness.”

Consultation carried out by the Cambridge City Council last year revealed that a majority of the public – 76 per cent – were in favour of the installation of lighting on Parker’s Piece, while 76 per cent of students surveyed admitted to feeling unsafe in the area at night.

The £60,000 scheme will see the construction of six new lighting columns in January 2014.

In response to the news, City Councillor for Newnham, Sian Reid, told TCS: “I welcome the lighting plans, to help people feel safe on Parker’s Piece and believe that the lights are well thought through – though they are subject to consultation. Students, in particular women students, have been asking for better lighting for some time and it is great that feasible proposals have come forward.”

However, Steele was keen to emphasise that more needed to be done: “CUSU Women’s Campaign hopes that this project is just the beginning of more lighting being implemented in Cambridge”.