Universities in Britain Spend Millions to Hire Police Officers

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. earmark / ˈiɚˌmɑɚk / (v) – to reserve something for a specific purpose

    The funds cannot be spent because they have been earmarked for research.

  2. deter / dɪˈtɚ / (v) – to stop someone from doing something

    Failure did not deter him from pursuing his dreams.

  3. vulnerable / ˈvʌlnərəbəl / (adj) – showing weakness to something

    Most children are vulnerable to criticism, so adults should be careful when talking to them.

  4. wane / weɪn / (v) – to become weaker or smaller

    His interest in video games waned as he grew older.

  5. retain / rɪˈteɪn / (v) – to continue something

    The lawmakers decided to retain the controversial policy.


Read the text below.

Universities all over Britain are spending a lot of money to have police officers patrol their campuses.

According to the data gathered by the news outlet, The Times, 27 universities have paid a sum of over £2 million to 17 police forces since 2016, and have earmarked approximately £1.2 million for police service in the current academic year. Five more universities also started investing in campus police in 2018.

Among these universities, the University of Northampton is spending the most on police service, setting aside £775,000 for the next three years.

Universities hire the police to deter offenders from targeting their students. This is because students are usually equipped with expensive devices, such as laptops and mobile phones. As a result, these students become vulnerable to criminal activity.

Crimes like robbery and violence are some of the activities that are likely to trouble students.

Despite the universities’ efforts in ensuring their campuses’ safety, some are not happy with the idea of investing in police service.

Police officers are saddened that universities resort to spending money to make their campuses a safe place. According to the Police Federation of England and Wales’ national chairman, John Apter, these universities are clearly aware of the importance of security on campuses. However, the situation is a reflection of the country’s lack of police officers.

This scarcity implies that the number of police officers in neighborhoods is also waning. Since universities have the means to retain good-performing officers, critics pointed out that this capacity might create a system wherein only those who can afford security are at an advantage, while those who cannot are left out.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it is reasonable for universities to spend a large amount of money to ensure students’ safety on campus? Why or why not?
• Aside from hiring police officers, what else can universities do to ensure students’ safety on campus? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Why is it important to prioritize students’ safety?
• Do you think universities in your country have enough initiatives in place to ensure students’ safety? Explain.