Students can be particularly vulnerable to crime, especially those who move into halls of residence or private shared accommodation away from home.
Moving out can be a pretty unsettling experience for youngsters, entering a completely new city with completely new people. The uncertainty can breed a susceptibility to crime that thieves look to take advantage of.
Research by the National Union of Students suggests that a staggering 1 in 5 students suffer a burglary whilst at college or university. With the average break-in costing £900 to either repair damage or replace stolen belongings, it pays to stay safe as a student.
Halls of Residence
The vast majority of first-year students move into a university halls of residence, having their own room in a shared flat. With new roommates to contend with, and sometimes unfamiliar visitors during get togethers, you can never be too sure of people’s intentions.
Because of this, it’s highly recommended to keep your door locked whenever you’re absent. For laptops, jewellery and spare cash, you should also invest in a security safe to guarantee your valuables stay protected.
Another clever trick is to use identity marking techniques or smartphone tracking apps to trace expensive items if they are taken.
If moving into private accommodation, the threat of crime is increased. Most halls of residence will have their own frontline security measures in place – this isn’t the case with a residential property. You and your fellow occupants must devise your own safety measures to deter criminal activity.
Doors are the obvious place to start as the most common point of access for intruders. Ensure both front and back doors possess high-quality locks, bolts and hinges to prevent break-ins. Likewise, windows should be closed and locked when the property is absent.
Don’t advertise expensive electronics in sight of ground-floor windows and also avoid the temptation to leave a spare key beneath a flower pot or doormat – criminals are aware of this method that offers them unrestricted access to the property.
Remember that your landlord has certain responsibilities to safeguard the building and fulfil insurance requirements. If you believe the property has insufficient security measures, bring up the issue with them.
We all know that house parties are a common occurrence in university life. Events like this can attract unwanted visitors who’re looking to take advantage of the situation. Even if you’re in the property, lock internal doors during social occasions.
Alcohol is likely to be prevalent during these events and will affect decision-making skills. This is also the case with general life as a student, especially when returning home from a night out. It’s vital you travel home with friends, either on foot or in taxis. Be especially aware of unlicensed cab drivers who may take advantage of intoxicated, lone students.
If you’re a student unfamiliar with a new area, it’s best you become acquainted with your surroundings. Take the time to assess your vicinity with friends, staying vigilant to any potential threats. Any suspicious activity by fellow students or local residents should be reported to your university or the police.
If you found this interesting, then you might also enjoy Clever Ways to Hide your Valuables from Intruders.