Keeping students safe at university

Whether they are going to university for the first time or returning to study for another year, students will often find themselves in new accommodation – from halls of residence to private rented flats or houses. Students are one of the highest at-risk groups of crime in the country, often targeted for high-value laptops, TVs, and entertainment equipment which is frequently left in plain view and unsecured against intruders. It’s important, therefore, that students are aware of how to keep themselves and their possessions safe.

Safety and security should be top of the agenda for students when they move into a new accommodation, as dealing with the effects of crime is a very unsettling and distressing experience. By carrying out these simple measures to maintain a safe and secure property, we can put students’ (and parents’) minds at ease.

It is all too easy to assume that previous residents have handed in their keys and while this may well be the case, it does not mean that extra copies have not been made by either former residents, employees, contractors or even rogue tradesmen. It is important for students and parents to question what locking systems are in place, when they were last replaced and how the copying of keys is controlled. It is landlords’ duty to act in a responsible manner and they should install quality locks with patented keys which can’t be copied without proof of ownership or restricted keys which can’t be easily copied due to their unique design.

Security Advice for students staying in halls of residence:

• Don’t leave items on show – Not on show in the car, not on an exposed windowsill, not in a shared kitchen, If it’s visible to others, it’s a temptation for thieves.
• Mark your belongings – Computers, iPads, and expensive electrical equipment are best off marked with your postcode, or similar personal identifier. Do it with a marker, or with an invisible UV Pen
• Password protect computers, laptops, USB sticks, etc. – Yes, even USB sticks. If you don’t secure them with password details, they could fall into the wrong hands and your personal data, passwords, and important documents could be compromised.
• Log your mobile phone’s IMEI number – Still not done widely enough, an extra layer of protection for mobile phones is to note your IMEI number so the phone can be switched off when thieves try to use it. You can find your IMEI number by typing *#06# on your phone..
• Don’t just think of thieves, think of backup protection too – If your hard drive crashes on your computer or laptop, how would you cope? Make backups of your electronic files so you don’t have to start literally from scratch again.
• Secure your items when you go away – Christmas, Easter, and all the long breaks away from your student home are fabulous times for criminals to linger. If you’re planning a long time away, either take the valuable items with you or make sure they are stored as securely as possible.
• Don’t carry (and certainly don’t show off) large amounts of money – You’re an easy target if someone spots you wielding loads of cash.

We ensure our Security Officers operating within student accommodation are on call 24 hours a day and regularly patrol each residence. Our officers aim to keep the accommodation blocks safe and secure, with each officer assisting the accommodation Management in maintaining order. Consortio Security takes antisocial behaviour very seriously and aim to maintain a living environment suitable for study and relaxation.

Date Published: 13/08/2018