Top Tips for Protecting Students from Crime

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

As A Level results up and down the country are digested and celebrated, a new wave of students are planning to leave home and take up a place at university.

The number of university students looks set to increase by around 9% next term, with many living in student digs or halls of residence. But sadly for some, their first taste of independence will also see their first experience as victims of crime. Theft from student houses is a common problem when at university – especially in big metropolitan areas like London, Manchester, Birmingham and Hull, where rates are higher than anywhere else in the country.

Students are often seen as an easy target for thieves. In busy houses, with new friends coming and going, they can leave themselves open to criminals. Not only that, but students are often loaded with a range of gadgets and expensive laptops, providing thieves with temptation. The Home Office suggests that students own more expensive goods per head than the rest of the population. So, what can students do to reduce the risk of being a victim of theft when at university?

You can help to prepare your kids for university by talking through the risks of living away from home. It may be a wrench for them to leave their childhood home, but it makes sense not to take things to university that have great sentimental or financial value – unless they are critical for studying.

Moving into a new house with new friends means trusting in relative strangers, but students should discuss the risks with their new housemates as soon as possible. Agree to keep downstairs windows closed, doors locked and to look out for each other – and neighbours.

Student houses often suddenly become empty – either during the afternoon when everyone is in lectures (or the pub) or on a night out. Crafty crooks can easily work out which houses are going to be empty by trawling social media for careless messages left in anticipation of a fun night out.

Finally, prepare for the worst. Student Cover is an optional extra with Swiftcover home insurance, providing up to £5,000 per student for a range of risks including theft, malicious acts, storm or flood.

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