Students are set to vote on plans to ban police officers from one of Scotland’s leading universities
STUDENTS have been branded “crazy” over plans to ban police officers from one of Scotland’s leading universities.
The Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) will vote on Thursday to bar officers unless they have been invited on to campus.
The controversial move follows claims by two students that they were manhandled by police and royal protection officers during a recent royal visit.
Student leaders also claim that police uniforms are not “aesthetically pleasing”.
Local Tories have branded the move “crazy”, saying there are laws in place which allow officers doing their job.
The move has also prompted a backlash among students, some of whom criticised the motion as “absurd”.
The EUSA motion states: “That the presence of police can be intimidating to students and makes many students feel unsafe on campus.
“This may particularly apply to some students from marginalised groups that are regular targets for police harassment, discrimination and violence.
“That, unless invited by students and staff, the presence of police on campus should be limited to necessary responses to specific and material threats to, or attacks on, the safety of people on campus.”
It continues: “Students should have the right to freely enjoy their campus and study without fear of University Staff or Police interference, abuse or assault.”
EUSA also believes that the presence of police in uniform is “not aesthetically pleasing” and “make our venues look less appealing to potential customers”.
But Conservative Edinburgh councillor, Cameron Rose, has brushed off the idea, labelling the thinking behind it as “crazy”.
Councillor Cameron Rose said: “It sounds crazy to me. They do not have an unfettered right to tell officers how to do their jobs. That’s what the law is there for, to guide them.”
He added: “Generally the police bring safety to communities so it all sounds a bit crazy to me.”
Commenting on a Facebook page, student Zack Korman, said: “This is ******* absurd. No one is claiming ALL police officers are saints. If someone is, they are stupid.
“Some people feel safer with the police, and feel actively unsafe in the absence of police.”
Another, Ian Buerger, said: “I’m saying I haven’t seen any evidence so far of Edinburgh police officers acting outrageously against students. You have made the accusation and I’d like to see some evidence backing said accusation.”
The student union will also once again write to Princess Anne, requesting she step down as Chancellor.
This recent new row follows an embarrassing turn around by the university itself, where they were forced to drop a “gagging clause” they had made sabbatical officers sign.
They had ruled that any “detrimental” statements would have to be given to university management 48 hours before they were released.
But just hours after the gagging clause information was released, university bosses made a u-turn decision, choosing to continue their “positive working relationship with their elected representatives.”
Police Scotland declined to comment.
Edinburgh University was unavailable for comment.
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