A STUDENT at the University of Salford was robbed of her mobile phone when walking home from work at the Student Union.

20-year-old, Demetra Doka, has since has spoken out in favour of the ‘Light Up Salford’ petition with the aim to improve the lighting on Wallness Lane, located next to Salford University’s main campus.

The intention of the petition is to gain enough signatures to capture Salford City Council’s attention as the the area is extremely poorly lit.

In the evening’s, many students fear walking down Wallness Lane as many incidents have taken place there; ranging from muggings to sexual assaults.

Demetra Doka said: “I really wasn’t expecting it, I mean, it was only 9 o’clock at night but it was the scariest thing of my life. I definitely wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”

Miss Doka explained how she was walking home from work a man stopped her to ask her for the time at the end of the park, whilst she was on the phone to Father.

As she politely replied, he persisted in following her and asked her again to double check the time.

Continuing to follow her, once by Tramways accommodation, the man grabbed Demetra’s phone from behind her – she tried to fight the phone back off him but he sprinted away.

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Since the incident, Demetra has become increasingly terrified to walk alone – particularly down Wallness Lane.

Demetra added: “It’s about the safety of students, no one should have to feel like they’re at risk when walking home, going to uni, going to work. It’s just a horrible thing to think that you’re being followed and you’re not safe.”

Currently, the ‘Light Up Salford’ petition has 481 signatures and 75 comments.

The comments back the petition as many agree that the lighting in the area needs to be improved.

This needs to be done and fast – Wallness Lane is terrifying to walk down alone, especially as a female,” an anonymous source said.

Jessica Harris, postgraduate at the University of Salford said: “When I lived on Wallness Lane my house was burgled in the evening around 5pm but no one noticed because it was so dark.”

Mark Shaw also raises his concerns: “As a parent of a University of Salford student, his safety and that of his friends and fellow students must come before money saving exercises.”

Sociological studies have been conducted proving that improved lighting in poorly lit areas where crime rates are quite high has decreased crime rates considerably.

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The study, conducted by Painter and Farrington, suggests that better lighting increased surveillance of potential offenders, therefore deterring them from committing the crime in the first place.

Their studies also suggested by improving neighbourhood conditions, it will improve community confidence and cohesion (a feeling of being united).

More positive neighbourhood conditions would therefore lead to a more positive outlook on the area; which Wallness Lane is severely lacking.

To encourage the council to improve the lighting on Wallness Lane for the sake of everyone’s safety, click here and sign the petition.

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