STUDENTS in Worcester are to be safer than ever after the University of Worcester teamed up with West Mercia Police.

The institution, which is already ranked as one of the safest in the country, will fund two Police and Community Support officers dedicated to crime prevention in and around university sites from the start of the new academic year in September.

The officer’s salaries, thought to be £20,000 a year, will be paid by the university while West Mercia Police will fund costs such as training, pensions and National Insurance.

The university’s vice chancellor and chief executive Professor David Green said he was delighted by the initiative.

“We are deeply committed to crime prevention and making our community safer,” he said.

“The university has made considerable progress in recent years in making our campuses even safer. This includes the development of a significant and thorough CCTV system and the expansion of our security team, which now stands at 25 full-time staff – many of whom have completed West Mercia Police’s Community Safety Accreditation, which sees them work closely with the local community and police officers.”

He added students had already been working alongside representatives of the community and Neighbourhood Watch.

“The new PCSOs will be able to enhance this, and deal effectively with issues as they arise, whilst remaining employees of West Mercia Police and having a community brief,” he said.

The officers will be based at the St John’s campus and will also work at The Hive as well as the university’s other sites across the city and will work seven days a week between 8am and midnight.

The university will also be able to request they are on hand at busy times such as graduation and arrivals weekend.