Caesarian Sunday defies the headlines to end peacefully

This story involved attending the event, which every year attracts gatherings of students on Jesus Green as they celebrate the end of year exams. I merely wanted to report fairly on exactly what had gone on without hyperbole or making assumptions. I managed to talk to local residents surrounding the park who had differing but largely indifferent views on the troubleless behaviour, students who were gathered on the green, a litter pickerer with whom I had a very long conversation, as well as a police officer who attended the scene.

My non-reactionary piece was in stark contrast to the Daily Mail, which tried to conflate having fun with blanket disgust and outlandish behaviour. The only criminal acts I encountered were several acts of public indecency, namely urinating in public. By and large, and as my photo of the event illustrated, there were friendly, harmless gatherings of friends in circles chatting and enjoying each other’s company.

Caesarian Sunday ended peacefully in the area of Jesus Green yesterday, proving to be far less raucous than previous years, when more extreme behaviour grabbed the headlines in national press. Most students gathered in groups of varied sizes starting from around midday, causing no trouble, and enjoying the sunny weather, by meeting friends and eating and drinking. Others were seen playing Frisbee, or sitting to chat amongst themselves.

By the early afternoon, two females had been handed penalty notices for anti-social behaviour, specifically urinating in public, and told to leave the area. It is not known whether either attends the University of Cambridge.

Sgt Andrea Gilbert, of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary, who was leading the police presence in Jesus Green, was happy with how the day had gone, with a pleasant atmosphere largely free of trouble. She spoke of the two main priorities for the police, both the atmosphere and the rubbish – neither of which appeared to pose any problems. She wished for those either attending the event or not to enjoy the space and the weather in peace, and was hopeful that the event would remain orderly for the rest of the afternoon.

David, who was overseeing the task of clearing up rubbish from the area, spoke of how positive the day had been. He said the event made good use of the open, green space, and that the rubbish in the park didn’t differ greatly from levels seen during any other weekend, and that there would be little extra cost for the council in cleaning up. He also wished for coverage of the event to dispel overly negative stereotypes which Caesarian Sunday has come to evoke in recent years through unfair press coverage, according to him.

Students were encouraged to use red bin bags that were provided by the council to dispose of their rubbish responsibly – it is the first year that such bags have been distributed.

A couple with two children who live nearby were not aware of the event happening until they entered the park and were content with the conduct of students. Many families with children were also enjoying the outdoors, making the most of the pleasant weather.

The police presence, whose role seemed to be nothing more than keeping an eye on the groups of students from around the perimeter of the space, was reasonably minimal.

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