UNIVERSITY students in Southampton have been captured on film harassing a woman recovering from open-heart surgery.

The students were caught redhanded on a makeshift CCTV system installed by a group of angry residents in the Polygon.

Victim Pat Othen said 2009 had seen one of the worst behaved intakes of first-year university students in Southampton.

“This is a bad lot we have got this year,” she said. “We seem to be going backwards. We are definitely not making progress.

“Every Tuesday night you can hear the students getting drunk at home until about 10.30pm. I can then hear them come back at 3am without an ounce of respect or concern for anybody in the street.”

Students living in a house opposite Ms Othen were caught dumping leaves in the front garden of her home on Kenilworth Road in the early hours of November 3.

The film shows a member of the gang, who was believed to be a friend visiting the city, kicking her door and later hurling an object.

Ms Othen, who underwent major surgery last month, claims she was the victim of an unprovoked attack and that her life has been made a living hell by the latest influx of students.

The attack broke the lock on her front door, effectively leaving her a prisoner in her home for almost a week. “I feel victimised and I don’t know what is going to happen next. I’m scared to leave my house. They should not be allowed to get away with it,”

Ms Othen said.

Frustrated by what they claim is a lack of action by the police and Solent University, her neighbours earlier this year installed their own secret cameras to gather evidence.

Ms Othen added: “What has it come to when we have to have our own cameras capture evidence?

“It has been a problem for 20 years and it’s only getting worse.”

A member of Residents’ Action, a community group in the Polygon, Ms Othen said she had been pushed to the brink of moving out of her home. “But why should I move? I was brought up two streets away, I aspired to live here and I love this area,” she said.

A police spokesman said six people had each been given a first offence harassment notice, while a spokesman for Solent University said they had also received a formal warning letter.

“The university goes to great lengths to advise students of their responsibilities in the community and the consequences of antisocial behaviour,” the spokesman said.

“In extreme cases students can be disciplined through a formal procedure.

In criminal cases the university fully cooperates with any police investigation.”

Four page investigation inside today's Daily Echo, including stories on:

How did get so bad?
The benefits of a large student population
• Will price hikes solve the problems?
• Students have their say
• Police view on the booze problem
Harassed by drunk students after heart surgery
• The cost of the clean-up
• Why is booze so cheap on weeknights?