Here are some tips to avoid having your things stolen:
Close and lock windows and doors – even if you’re only going out for a short time. This is the most common way that burglaries occur in halls of residence. If you have a side alley, make sure there’s a secured alleygate and make sure everyone who needs a key has one.
Remember, when you leave a window open – it’s not just fresh air you let in, but potentially thieves too!
Access coded doors aren’t infallible – remember to shut them and don’t wedge them open. Don’t give door codes out to anyone, and don’t let anyone in you don’t know.
Don’t leave things on display – especially if you’re on the ground floor. Hide and lock things away, shut your curtains (ask if you can put up nets), don’t leave things lying on your desk, or in your car.
Take things home for the holidays – burglaries during vacation time often use force to gain entry, so make sure there isn’t anything for them to take.
Backup your work away from your computer – if your computer or laptop is stolen, you could lose your work. Back it up online or somewhere separately.
Use a UV marker – buy one from a stationery shop and mark property with your postcode, or the name of your university and student number. Use a permanent address such as your family’s home.
Alarms and timer switches – if you have a burglar alarm, always set it when you go out. Get timer switches from a DIY shop for radios and lights to make it look like you’re in when you’re not.
Have the right insurance – make sure you have enough coverage for your more valuable items.
Know your neighbours – if you live in private accommodation, keep on good terms with your neighbours so they’re more likely to keep an eye on things when you’re not there.
Remember: If you see anyone acting suspiciously, call the police immediately on 0300 123 4455, or report it anonymously to the independent charity CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.
Why not check out Staffordshire police’s Student Zone for more safety advice online.