Beat the Burglar
Imagine the scene, you come back from a hard day of lectures to find your humble student home has been completely ransacked. You step over broken glass into the living room, your Xbox is gone. You head into your bedroom to find your laptop, iPad, camera and jewellery are missing. The money you kept in the top drawer under your socks is also gone! Your mind races as you realise you don’t have any contents insurance, your student overdraft is already maxed out and your laptop had your dissertation on! Your life has been turned upside down by an opportunistic burglar and the chances are, it will happen again…
- Break-ins are on the increase, especially in areas of low income and high unemployment
- 1/3 of students become victims of crime, mainly theft and burglary
- Student properties that have been burgled in the past are in more danger of being targeted again
- 20 % of student robberies occur in the first six weeks of the academic year
- Most burglars are opportunists and will look for weaknesses in security
According to reformed criminal and the BBC’s ‘Beat the Burglar’ security expert, Michael Fraser, a relaxed attitude to security coupled with an abundance of valuables, especially laptops, means students are easy pickings for criminals:
“For many students it’s their first time living away from home and they’re generally relaxed about security as they have a lot more going on in their lives. They don’t really think about the details such as putting the alarm on or ensuring all the windows are closed. Statistics show that students are broken into once are more likely to be targeted again because burglars are familiar with the house and the type of contents that are there.”
Michael’s top 5 tips to help you protect you home:
- Burglars are opportunists, they looks for weaknesses in security and the easiest option to penetrate your house so cover the basics; lock doors, windows and turn your house alarm on.
- Most houses have a single Yale lock on the front door which makes it fairly easy for a burglar to break in, ask your landlord to fit a second BS (British Standard) approved lock which makes it very difficult for burglars.
- Make sure you get to know your housemates, burglars take advantage of the fact people don’t know each other, especially in large houses or flats.
- It’s important that you try and look after the appearance of your property, I could look at a street and tell you the type of person that lives in each house. If your home does not look secure, seems unlived in, or provides unobserved access then you could be an easy target.
- Ask your letting agent to remove the student rental sign from your garden and your address from their website as this is an open invitation to opportunistic burglars.
Fraser has been working with The Safe Shop to produce an interactive guide, full of tips and advice to help students protect their homes which you can see here http://www.thesafeshop.co.uk/beat-the-burglar
We hope that the advice above will help you protect your home. Please don’t become a statistic, beat the burglar!