AN innovative scheme that has introduced community student street wardens to Winton has been so successful that it will double in size.

The total number of wardens is being increased from six to 12 this academic year, thanks to extra funding from Bournemouth University, the Arts University Bournemouth and Bournemouth council.

The scheme sees volunteer students from both institutions acting as a liaison between students and other residents, supporting first-time students as they settle into their accommodation and targeting antisocial behaviour issues.

Bournemouth University part-funded four student wardens last year and will increase this to nine from September. The Arts University Bournemouth part-funded two last year and will increase to three.

Winton East Cllr Pat Oakley, who helped set up the scheme, said: “I have had nothing but positive feedback on the wardens. They have really helped to improve relations between temporary student residents and the permanent residents of Winton.

“Expanding the scheme will mean every street in Winton will now be covered by a warden. In the current climate of cuts, council leader John Beesley and Cllr David Smith have been brilliant in coming forward with this extra funding, from which all residents of Winton will benefit.”

Ian Jones, head of regional community partnerships at Bournemouth University, said: “We are very pleased to be extending our student community wardens scheme, to help bridge the gap between students and residents and give advice and information about the area and services.

“The student community wardens scheme was introduced last year and has been extremely successful – with the four wardens clocking up over 50 miles of patrolling in the area.

“The scheme – combined with our students’ union’s Lock It or Lose It anti-burglary campaign – led to a 19.6 per cent reduction in crime around Winton and 41 per cent reduction in bin-related complaints.”