Portsmouth is a city with beautiful sights and landmarks. However, recent levels of crime in the city have increased with people feeling unsafe when walking the streets after dark. People have been attacked and properties have been smashed in the notorious city.
After speaking with Dan Stephens, I have realised some of the recent horrors in Portsmouth. Dan was getting up for work when he realised that ‘my car window was smashed, I came down for work in the morning just to find the window completely smashed in’. The shocking revelation of his car window has daunted Dan as he explained: ‘Obviously that’s really unsettling to get down and your property has been smashed like that’.
Dan believes as a male he isn’t targeted as much but he explained that he ‘always advise my girlfriend not to walk through certain parts of Portsmouth at night’, which shows the scale of crime in the city.
The police released data on crimes in Portsmouth and found that there was 781 street level crimes, including 271 violent crimes in October 2019 alone. The presence of the police in Portsmouth has increased to try and help reduce the crime rates in the city, but there is only so much that they can do. Dan shared his thoughts on the Police presence: ‘I think there definitely needs to be crime reduction, it’s hard to know what could happen, you don’t see the police around very often apart from Friday and Saturday Nights where there’s more police presence’.
There are many different types of the criminal activity that occurs in Portsmouth, a lot of it taking place in Somers Town, Southsea. The locals have been accused of instigating violence with other locals and students. Charlotte Johnson who lives locally and works near the Portsmouth football stadium had her own say on the locals she see’s before and after matches: ‘I work near the stadium, and always after Pompey games there’s always fights, with people getting rowdy, loud and disruptive’. Local’s in Portsmouth have been known for their violent behaviour and they particularly target students to scare when it’s late at night.
Charlotte has personally been involved in a pick-pocketing incident, she explained: ‘I had my purse stolen from my bag a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know they did it. Pick-pocketed’. later she was asked if she felt safe in Portsmouth to which she responded: ‘I feel relatively safe in the day, its late at night when there’s not very many people around, I don’t normally feel as safe, but in the daytime when its busy I feel ok’. It is a shame that Portsmouth’s historic city is now looked down upon due to their crime rates, the city has become well known to the nation to be ‘rough around the edges’.
People are attacked late at night and the criminals target vulnerable people such as drunk people on their way back from nightclub’s. The third person I spoke with, Sophie Davies, is a student at the University of Portsmouth. Speaking about a recent attack on her boyfriend, she explained to me: ‘he did get attacked on the way back from a night out, it wasn’t an awful attack but he did get bloody and he ended up in hospital’. The police were informed of this and an investigation is taking place. This shows the gruesome and violent nature of Portsmouth to vulnerable people of both genders.
The three people that I have spoken with all have a common denominator which is the fact they don’t feel Portsmouth is a safe place to live for people who are generally out late at night.