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Crime Prevention

Police urge students to give criminals a lesson

Durham University students are again being reminded by the local constabulary to use their common sense to help prevent themselves becoming needless victims of crime.

While Durham is a safe place to live and does have a low crime rate, there is still a risk of burglary and theft. The vast majority of burglaries to student accommodation are as a result of windows being left open and doors being unlocked, even when rooms are unattended.

As the winter months and dark nights approach, properties with little or no security will be more likely to be burgled than those with good security. Opportunist thieves are looking for an easy target and students must try to ensure they do not become a victim of crime. They must remember to close/lock windows and doors when leaving the room, even if only for a short time. It only takes a few seconds for someone to reach through an open window and remove property such as laptops, iPods, mobile phones.

Police University Liaison Officer, Phil Raine is asking students to follow some simple steps to make themselves and their property less attractive to criminals:

  • Closer/lock windows and doors when leaving a room unattended. Even if just for a short time.
  • On campus, don't leave fire doors propped open, allowing easy access for anyone. Once inside the building a criminal has access to many rooms which again are often unlocked. Also remember to close/lock windows to toilet/shower blocks.
  • Don't hold doors open for people you don't know. If you don't want to challenge them, close the door. If they are authorised personnel they will have a key/know the correct code.
  • Don't leave valuables unattended next to windows. It only takes a few seconds for someone to reach in and remove laptops etc.
  • Mark property with a security pen so that any stolen/recovered property is easily identifiable.
  • Consider using a timer switch to operate a light (use a low energy bulb) or hi-fi at various times when your room is unoccupied.
  • Don't leave property unattended. It only takes a few moments for someone to steal your property.

‘Whilst this advice is obviously common sense, there are still a lot of people who are making themselves vulnerable to crime. The advice given cannot guarantee you won't become a victim of crime, but it will certainly go a long way to making things more difficult for the criminal.'

Phil Raine
University Liaison Officer
Durham City Police Office
New Elvet
Durham City
Tel: 07715 801947