Student burglaries are on the rise, again. Student areas in cities like London, Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds are the most targeted in the country.
According to The Student Review, Crime Stoppers UK statistics show that “1 in every 3 students become victims of crime.”
Surprisingly, a burglary happens every 40 seconds in the UK and 20% of all student robberies occur within the first 6 weeks of the academic year.
The Complete University Guide mentions that “Manchester is worst for robbery of personal property (muggings) and burglaries, but Nottingham, which has been bottom of the table in three out of the past four annual rankings, suffers from a higher rate of violence against the person, closely followed by Southampton.”
So as you move into your new accommodation over the next few weeks, there are a few things you should keep in mind to avoid becoming yet another statistic.
1. Don’t leave your house all together.
Burglars will watch your house until they see you all leave together to get a taxi into town. When they’re sure that no one is in the house, they’ll then break in.
Make sure you avoid this by leaving at different times. If you’re taking two taxis, four people should leave first and then the rest wait 5 or 10 minutes until they leave.
2. Keep your windows and doors locked
It’s a rather simple and over-stated resolution to not being burgled, but you’d be surprised at how many robberies happen due to unlocked windows or doors.
3. Don’t keep valuable items in sight
Somethings are impossible to hide – for example a TV or a bike. If they’re noticeable from a window though, invest in some netting to put up over your window. No one will be able to see in and know that you have them.
When you leave your house, put laptops and other valuable items in drawers or secret hideouts. You’ll appear much less of a target.
4. Know that burglars target houses
From personal experience, I know that burglars will probably know which houses they’ll break into, even before the semester even starts. In my second year, my house was burgled through a first floor window. The following year, a friend lived there instead of me and was burgled through the exact same window in the exact same way.
Ask your landlord if the house has previously been broken into and in what way. You can then plan and make sure you’re aware at all times. Also keep an eye out for people watching your room.
5. Insure your belongings
It may cost you £5 a month, but it’s much cheaper than having to replace a laptop if it gets stolen. You can buy gadget insurance cheaply at Endsleigh or through your bank. Also make sure that you put your details into Immobilise – this will help police get any stolen items back to you if they find them.
By Holly Smith