With students arriving in Belfast this month, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and Belfast Metropolitan College, have today, Tuesday 6th September launched their student safety campaign.
The campaign aims to encourage safe and respectful behaviour and provide an opportunity for students to learn more about their local police.
Launching the campaign, Area Commander for South Belfast Chief Inspector Finola Dornan said: “We look forward to welcoming new and returning students to Belfast for the start of this academic year.
"The safety of students and the wellbeing of the wider local community is a priority for us. To this end, local police are here for you and will be working closely with partners across higher education campuses and Belfast City Council in the coming months.
"Our student safety campaign will provide crime prevention advice directly to students and across our social media channels. Officers will also be visible and accessible in the local community, reinforcing these messages and ensuring that we are there when needed. We will be working with partners on the ground to prevent harm and address any issues in the local area.
"We want all students to enjoy a positive experience of living in the city, part of which is to be aware of their own safety and how we and our partners can help them."
Director of Public Engagement at Queen's University Belfast, Ryan Feeney said: “We want all our students to benefit from the whole university experience while, at the same time, ensuring they are fulfilling their potential.
"It's an exciting time for students as they start a new chapter and it's important that they remain aware that living away from home brings additional responsibilities.
"We encourage all our students to ensure their actions are designed to keep themselves, and others in the community, safe, and to make use of the variety of safety and crime prevention advice available."
Duncan Morrow, Director of Community Engagement at Ulster University added: “We’re looking forward to welcoming first year students to the university and encourage all to enjoy Freshers Week.
"We recognise for our first year students this is a particularly exciting time – for many of you it will be the first time that you’ve lived away from home and been solely responsible for your own safety.
"We want to encourage all our students to enjoy student life and their time here at Ulster University, but to do so safely. We would ask students to be mindful that taking care of themselves and their own safety is a big responsibility but also to be assured that there is support and advice out there from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and from ourselves at Ulster University, as well as the Ulster University Students’ Union.”
Dee McDowell, Head of Learner Success at Belfast Met said: “Many of our students will be moving away from home for the first time as they start their courses at Belfast Met. We hope this is an exciting and rewarding experience for all of them and the College will do everything possible to provide help and support.
"We also want to remind our students of the importance of keeping themselves safe and of showing respect towards their neighbours and the local community. Belfast Met fully endorses the Police Service of Northern Ireland in fostering good relations within neighbourhoods and in developing a sense of responsibility on the part of our students."
Follow the Police Service of Northern Ireland on Facebook and Twitter @PoliceServiceNI and Instagram @policeservice.NI for crime prevention and safety advice. You can also follow your local police on Facebook and Twitter for information about policing in your community.