Students Stay Safe - protect yourself and your property
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is home to a large student population at universities and colleges across the county.
Leicestershire Police is urging students, many who will be away from home for the first time, to ‘think crime prevention’.
Figures from the Home Office show that 1 in 3 students become the victim of a crime each year at university, but in the majority of cases, these crimes can be avoided by taking some simple steps to protect yourself and your property.
If you are a student coming to university or college, you'll undoubtedly bring with you many valuable items that are appealing to thieves. Televisions, stereos, computers, games consoles, DVDs, CDs, bikes and mobile ‘phones are all potential targets if the right steps aren’t taken to secure them.
Ensure that valuable items cannot be seen through windows from outside and when going out make sure doors are locked and windows are shut – even if you’re only gone for a short time. In many cases it takes a burglar just minutes to break in, steal property and leave.
If your laptop was stolen, how many weeks worth of work would be lost? Keep laptops out of sight and ensure that you back up work regularly.
If you have a burglar alarm, use it – this is often enough to deter thieves and consider investing in timer switches for lights giving the impression that someone’s in when you’re out. If you live in halls, lock your door even if you’re popping down the corridor and make sure nobody follows you in when you walk through main entrances.
Consider taking out contents insurance to cover your valuables – policies are very cheap in comparison with the cost to replace expensive items. Make a list of all your valuable items - this form will help – and mark your valuables with your university or college name and your student ID number using an ultraviolet pen. If you become the victim of a burglary, stolen property that is marked can be returned to the rightful owner if it is recovered by police.
Bikes can be great to get around on and can help keep you fit but you’ll have to resort to walking and join a gym if you don’t take steps to secure your bike when leaving it unattended. Invest in a good bike lock, they are relatively inexpensive - D locks or combination locks are best - look for ‘Sold Secure Ltd’ approved models or ask at a bicycle shop for a recommendation.
When leaving your bike unattended, make sure you lock it to something secure and immovable and take removable parts (saddle, quick-release wheels, lights etc.) with you or lock them to the bike.