A SWEET idea is being used to lick the problem of rowdy students.
Officers are dishing out thousands of pieces of rock bearing words “sssh” and “quiet please” through the middle, in a plea to revellers to keep their night-time noise down.
It comes after a series of complaints from people living in Durham City about being disturbed by students leaving pubs, clubs at bars.
“We were looking to try something and the candy rock seemed a good idea,” said Pc Phil Raine, university liaison officer and member of the neighbourhood policing team.
“We hope it will combat noise complaints, which we’ve historically got at the beginning of term when the students are heading out of town and coming back in the early hours.
“We thought about lollipops and we’ve had them before, and then saw something about the rock sweets and thought ‘Sssh’ might be the message to put on them, and ‘Quiet please’.
“I’ve started giving a few out in the colleges and taking them out with us on the streets.
“So far it’s been going really well.
“It’s a minority who cause the noise, the majority are well behaved.
“Sometimes it’s just one or two just talking loudly and they don’t realise.”
About £500 has been put towards the project, which has supplied officers with 10,000 sweets to hand out on patrol.
It has been funded by Durham County Council, Durham University and the city’s Pub Watch scheme.
“It’s been received very positively,” added Pc Raine.
“And it’s created a bit of interest and a laugh from the bars and the students.”
The sweets are one of a number of imaginative ideas being used by Pc Raine and the team to get their messages about safety, disorder and reducing the chances of becoming a victim of crime out to students.
He uses Twitter, using the name @DurhamUniPol, Facebook and a blog to interact with those studying in the city about incidents, appeals, warnings and advice.