Success for scheme to help students

Police Safer Town Team Insp Tony Quinn.
Police Safer Town Team Insp Tony Quinn.

A CRIME prevention scheme which aims to protect foreign students visiting Scarborough has been hailed a success because there were no reported crimes for the whole of last year.

Operation Norseman was set up by North Yorkshire Police, Scarborough Council and language schools in 2001.

At a recent group meeting representatives from the schools all reported that advanced bookings were either up, or at the same level as last year’s record numbers.

A group spokesman said that part of the reason for Scarborough’s continued attraction to foreign students was its low crime levels which last year saw no reports to the police of crimes committed against students.

Insp Tony Quinn, of Scarborough Police, said: “I am very pleased to be able to report the absence of any crime against students visiting Scarborough language schools in 2011.

“I put a lot of the improvement down to the work we and our partners have undertaken to tackle groups of youths roaming the town and engaging in underage drinking.

“I am sure that when parents are deciding where to send their children abroad to study, a major consideration in coming to a decision is how safe they will be.

“If visitors feel safe and have a good time I am sure it increases the chances of them visiting again when they are older, which is of long term benefit to the town”.

Cllr Janet Jefferson, Operation Norseman’s chairman and part of the group since it’s formation in 2001, said: “The Scarborough tourism economy benefits from some 13,000 visiting students each year and the positive feedback from members regarding the 2011 season proves how successful the Norseman partnership has become, with tour operators reporting an even busier year for this 2012 season.”

Julie Monsalve, from the Scarborough International School in Stepney Road said: “We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our students and we have been a keen supporter of Operation Norseman since the project’s beginning over 10 years ago.”

Participating schools also include English Experience, Anglolang, Club England, York Tutors, English Venture and Viking Voyages.