Student Security – For people who don’t need advice…
During university life a third of students become the victims of crime. With over 2.5 million students returning to university this autumn, how can they avoid joining this statistic?
As a student myself, last year I was a victim of crime so can understand how important it is to remain vigilant and to avoid the huge inconvenience and upset caused. A five minute lapse in concentration by leaving a window open resulted in one missing laptop and three months of work gone.
The good news is that the focus on security is plain to see at universities, especially during Freshers’ Week where helpful tips and advice are offered to students, often by officers from the local police force.
In almost all halls’ residencies there is 24-hour security. Most residencies require identification to gain access, so the chance of ‘walk-in’ burglaries is reduced, giving students peace of mind when staying in their new accommodation.
As well as these, all universities have an area of their website dedicated to the security and safety of their students. These have useful tips on keeping safe, as well as explaining what to do if you do become a victim of crime, and useful phone numbers to ring in an emergency.
Universities including Oxford and Central Lancashire have schemes such as a safety bus, set up to provide a safe transport route home late at night. Others such as Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield have safe taxi schemes, meaning that students can hand their student card over to the driver, and then pay for the taxi when they collect their card the next day. Are there students in your life? Their focus on starting at university might not be their security, but nevertheless here might be some useful tips to pass on:
Get to know the area
This is useful for a number of reasons, but in particular, safety. By learning about the region you’re living in, you’re more likely to feel confident when out and about and less likely to get lost. You can find out about any areas that are best avoided, especially at night.
Avoid being alone on nights out
As the saying goes; safety in numbers. Try avoiding being alone on nights out by sticking close with a group of friends. Make sure you have each other’s phone numbers in case you do get split up. As well as this, always make sure the taxi you’re using is licensed, and if you are considering walking home, remember your safety is worth more than a taxi fare.
Lock windows & doors
The majority of student related crime comes in the form of burglary. Keeping doors and windows locked may seem like an obvious step to avoid crime but it is very easy to forget.
Make sure your belongings are marked
Marking your precious belongings with your address is a simple way of helping to recovering them if they are stolen. Many police forces across Britain will register your items for free so it is worth checking. Once registered, you can register as many items as you like for free.
Universities and students continue to work together on security issues in order to bring the percentage of crime down. By remaining vigilant and following helpful advice, students can significantly reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime. Through the encouragement of parents, family and friends, students can remain committed to staying safe whilst not missing out on the fun of university.
Student at Birmingham University, studying Business Management