Crime prevention may not be a priority on your list of things to do as a student but criminals see you as easy targets. Many of your personal items will hold more than a financial value including personal photos and perhaps lecture notes towards your final grade.
What can you do?
• Over 50% of burglaries happen because a door or window has been left open, so lock up properly each time you go out and if there is an alarm, set it.
• Keep bank cards and cheque books separate – keep a note of your card details so you can cancel them quickly.
• Always lock your car – never leave the keys in the ignition and don't leave valuables unattended in the vehicle whether it is parked on or off campus.
• Mark your property with the initials of your university and your student ID number – this makes it hard for a burglar to sell stolen goods and can help the police to return any recovered items to you.
• Be vigilant when using your mobile phone – if your phone is stolen, contact the police and remember to inform your network provider.
• Don't be an easy target – walk in groups at night, stay over with friends or travel by taxi. Remember that your safety is worth more than the cab fare home!
• Use reputable taxi firms that you can trust, if you are unsure ask for the taxi drivers license – a legitimate taxi will have this displayed in the vehicle.
• Don't leave drinks unattended.
• Don't accept drinks from strangers as it may have been spiked.
• If possible, use cash machines during the day – be aware of your surroundings – never write down your PIN.
• If you are having a night out, use timer switches to switch lights on, and make your property look occupied in the evenings and at the weekends.
• Your own safety is the most important consideration. But remember - lock up before you leave, take your valuable items home at weekends and during the holidays, and make sure your property is secure at all times.
• Developing positive relationships with neighbours can play a vital role in ensuring any suspicious activity is reported – for example, while you are away for the weekend or on holiday.