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Protect yourself against robbers

Thursday 13 September 2012 Trends

Did you know that one in three students becomes a victim of crime?

Unfortunately, as a student, you are a particular target for criminals. Mugging, vehicle theft and burglary are the most common offences, accounting for 70% of crimes.

It costs £900 for the average student to replace belongings and repair damage after a break-in or robbery - not to mention the distress caused by the event.

Halls of residence are a prime location for criminal activity

Student houses and halls attract opportunistic burglars. Most students own expensive equipment such as mobile phones, laptops and ipods.

People come and go frequently, leaving doors and windows open, and it can be easy to enter the building by posing as a casual visitor. Over the holidays, student properties are often left vacant, leaving them at even greater risk.

Tips for looking after your belongings

While the statistics may look frightening, there are a number of things you can do to protect your possessions:

  • Always lock your car and hide valuables out of sight (more cars are broken into than actually stolen). Never leave your keys in the ignition.
  • Lock doors and windows, even when you’re just going down the corridor.
  • Close the main entrance doors behind you and don’t let strangers in.
  • Take out home contents insurance. Many insurance companies have competitive deals for students, or you can extend your parents' home insurance policy for free.
  • Use an ultraviolet pen to mark your possessions with your name and student ID number. This helps the police return them to you if they’re stolen and recovered.
  • If your house is empty during the holidays, consider putting a timer on the lights, or find someone to check up while you’re away.

Help prevent crime against students

You can help the police reduce crime against students by reporting offences or criminal activity or behaviour that makes you suspicious. You may be in a position to pass on valuable information, for example, about drug dealers.

If you’re worried about approaching the police, Crimestoppers is an independent charity you can call anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact anonymously via the Crimestoppers website.

Every day, 17 criminals are arrested and charged thanks to calls to Crimestoppers.