Students are unfortunately one of the highest groups of young people to be victims of crime. Statistics show that 50% of burglaries against student properties take place through an open door or window. It is a difficult balance between making students aware of crime whilst also reassuring students that crime is rare. There are however many things that you can do to encourage your child to reduce their chances of being a victim of crime.
Are they keeping their doors and windows locked?
This doesn’t just mean the front door, but any internal doors and upstairs windows too. It might sound obvious but so many burglaries could have been avoided by just turning a key.
Laptop sat on their desk? I-pod on their windowsill? Car keys in full view?
Such items are easy pickings for a burglar. Keep valuable items out of sight - put them in a drawer or cupboard, or hide them under the bed.
Is their property marked?
Make sure your child marks their property (using a UV pen) with their house number, followed by their postcode (e.g. 155 LS2 3ED) of their parental address. This makes it harder for a burglar to sell stolen goods and can help the police return items to your address if your child moves accommodation.
How obvious is it that everyone’s out their house?
Your child should be encouraged to leave a light or radio on and draw the curtains when they go out to give the impression that someone’s in. You could buy them a timer switch as a leaving home present! Students often make it very obvious to burlgars that the house will soon be empty when ordering taxi's for everyone and standing in the garden/ street waiting. You should advise your child to ask for taxi's not to arrive at the same time and to wait indoors to avoid unwanted attention.
Are they insured?
Many Unipol tenants have free personal possessions insurance with their accommodation but your child needs to check this out and make sure they register items (such as their laptop) and enquire about any additional items not included (such as their bike). Ask your child to keep lists of the make, model and serial numbers of electronic items to help police track them down if they are stolen.
Has the property got a burglar alarm?
If so, encourage your child to use it and let them know that they can contact their landlord for help if they are unfamiliar with the alarms operation.
For further advice, your child should regularly read the following websites:
www.knowledge-leeds.co.uk helping students live in leeds, written by Leeds University Union and Leeds Metropolitan University Students Union with contributions from the Police and other agencies.
www.westyorkshire.police.uk Click on the ‘students’ link to find details about how to report a crime.
Your child must also report any incident to their landlord as it is important that the landlord is given opportunity to make any repairs as necessary.