Stabbing at The Meadows raises university campus safety concerns

A man was stabbed near The Meadows on Thursday 28 September.

The 41-year-old was stood outside the King’s Theatre in Tollcross at around 9:45pm when he was violently attacked.

The man was approached by three men wielding knives, two of which proceeded to brutally stab him multiple times.

Police Scotland has reported that the victim was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh with a number of lacerations and puncture wounds, but his condition is not expected to be life-threatening.

The police temporarily closed off Tarvit Street, adjacent to the King’s Theatre where the assault took place. A 42-year-old man, in connection with the attack, was charged within 24 hours, and he appeared in court on Monday 9 October.

The police have since charged a second suspect, who appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday 4 October. There are no speculations as to the motives of these attackers.

The police are treating the assault as attempted murder, and are continuing to appeal for witnesses of the incident.

Detective Sergeant Mark Lumsden from the Violence Reduction Unit said: “We are currently pursuing a number of lines of investigation to identify those responsible but are really keen to hear from anyone who was in or around Tarvit Street on Thursday evening and witnessed what happened.”

The incident occurred less than two hundred metres from one of Edinburgh’s most popular parks, and close to some of Edinburgh’s most heavily populated student areas.

A group of passing medical students were even reported to have delivered first aid to the victim whilst waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

The theatre is within half a mile of multiple student residences, including Mansion Fountainbridge, Riego Street, Portsburgh Court and in the wider realm of Bruntsfield and Marchmont.

By day, The Meadows is a hub of activity, as students use the open space for sports, picnics, and society meetings.

Throughout the week, crowds of students walk from the surrounding residential areas through The Meadows to George Square, the University of Edinburgh’s central campus.

Despite being a popular area in central Edinburgh, students are aware of the potential danger of The Meadows at night. First year Spanish and Politics student, Eva, who lives in Sciennes, just next to The Meadows, talked to The Student about her experience of the area:

“The Meadows seems like a safe place during the day and at first I wouldn’t have been too worried about walking through them at night.

“On the night of the knife attack we were on our way home from a night out and were planning on heading that way, until a friend we were with pointed out it was possibly a dangerous route.

“It’s definitely something anyone who lives around The Meadows and is coming home late should bear in mind.”

Since the incident two weeks ago, another attack has taken place on the other side of The Meadows. A 23-year-old woman was attacked outside her home on Rankeillor Street on Sunday 1 October.

These incidences have occurred just after Police Scotland launched their ‘Student Safety’ campaign in the summer. It aims “to promote key messages to help students feel safe as term time comes to a start”, as stated on the Police Scotland website.

One of the six aims of this campaign is to promote “Out and About Safety”, educating students on getting home safely from nights out.

It encourages students to pre-book taxis and advises against walking back through quiet or deserted areas of the city, especially if travelling alone.

Anyone with information regarding the incident in Tollcross can call the Violence Reduction Unit on 101 and quote incident 3975 of 28 September, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

 

Image: Mullen/photographer

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