Knife robber forced entry to Solent University Kimber
halls

Knife robber forced entry to Solent University Kimber halls

Tom, whose surname has not been included due to fear for his safety, was on his way home after a night out when the balaclava-wearing thug threatened him with a knife in Palmerston Park.

He demanded the terrified student take him back to his room at Kimber Student Residence, where they spent ten minutes while Tom tried to find some money.

Pocketing his wallet, the quick-thinking undergrad told the knifeman he had left it back at the pub with his girlfriend and walked him back outside – waiting until the automatic doors closed behind the robber before calling security.

Speaking to the Echo, he said: “I’m terrified now. Students walk through those parks everyday so you take it for granted.

“Now, I double lock my doors in the daytime, look through the peephole to see if anyone knocks on my door.

“I constantly look over my shoulder now because I’m scared to walk around alone.

“Worst of all, I worry I may never feel safe in Southampton again.”

Daily Echo: Palmerston Park. Picture: Matthew CookThe terrifying incident on April 18 began at 11.15pm, near the Viscount Palmerston Memorial, when the man approached Tom under the guise of asking for a lighter before pulling out the knife.

He described the man as 5ft 9ins tall, black and in his early fifties.

Tom decided not to contact Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary because he said he did not want the police to be involved.

He said his accommodation security could not find the man after an extensive search.

This comes as Solent University’s Students’ Union announced in early May that their Safe Solent initiative — which offered students a free taxi service home to avoid walking through the city centre parks late at night — is to be scrapped from the next academic year due to a lack of funding.

Tom said: “It’s a really reckless decision that I can’t get my head around.

“Myself included, I also know several people who refuse to go the library after a certain time.

“It’s just too dangerous.”

In a joint statement, Solent University and the Students’ Union said: “Student safety is paramount to Solent University and the Students’ Union, and we are continuously prioritising the provision of a safe environment to live and study through a range of activities, including engagement with the local community and Hampshire Police.

“In the event of a safeguarding incident involving one of our students, we will always act immediately on any information received to ensure that individuals are receiving the necessary support.”

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