With the first semester at universities across the country in full swing, many students will have unfortunately become victim to some form of theft. In fact, it has been claimed that students are one of the highest at-risk groups of crime in the country due to their possession of high value items such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets.
According to various studies, one third of students are expected to become a victim of crime whilst at university. And with thousands of youngsters leaving home and arriving on campus every year such figures aren’t expected to fall anytime soon. However, a few simple security tips, for both students and landlords alike, could help reduce your chance of falling victim. Read on for professional advice when it comes to securing your belongings in a student home:
A Third of Students Are a Victim to Crime
According to a recent student crime study 11.8% of students in private accommodation have experienced domestic burglary in the past year compared to only 5.4% of students living in university provided accommodation. This simply outlines the more extensive security measures in place within university grounds compared to those offered by landlords and practiced by students in private accommodation.
The study analysed 535,468 crimes in 64 towns and cities in England and Wales occupied by students depicting students who are most likely to be exposed to high levels of crime in the last year.
Students in Brighton areas experienced the highest levels of recorded crime with an average rate of 829 recorded crimes per thousand residents. In contrast, Egham in Surrey was exposed to the least crime with only 57 recorded crimes per one thousand residents. On average the report suggested that there was a total of 248 crimes per thousand residents across England and Wales every year.
The Master Locksmith Association (MLA) is urging landlords to make home security a top priority, questioning what locking systems are in place, when they were last replaced, and how they are controlling the copying of keys. However, whilst it is recommended that landlords change the locks at the beginning of every tenancy to ensure total security, it is not a legal requirement.
As a student, or any individual renting a property for that matter, it is your responsibility to look after your home. This includes minor repairs, keeping it clean, and not causing any damage to the property. It is also a requirement, often stated in tenancy agreements, that you inform your landlord about repairs that are needed.
Whilst your landlords have a legal responsibility to keep certain things in your property in good repair, there is in fact no minimum security requirement they must adhere to. According to Right Move a landlord is not necessarily responsible for improvements to the security of the building overall. Under their ‘duty of care’ they may choose to upgrade security on site but they are under no obligation to do so. Therefore students should ensure they take precautionary action when occupying private accommodation.
When leaving the comforts of home student safety is highly encouraged. Usually focusing on the dangers of nights out in terms of walking alone, not watching your drink, and ensuring a little forethought goes into your personal safety, general security is often overlooked. So here are a selection of our top tips when it comes to securing your property and your belongings:
- Insurance – Did you know that over half of all students who fall prey to theft aren’t insured? Ensure you get adequate personal belongings insurance to protect yourself in the case of burglary.
- Out of Sight – Don’t make it easy for potential thieves to help themselves to your possessions. Keep valuables out of sight and don’t leave cash or expensive jewellery lying around.
- Inspection – Inspect doors and windows to make sure appropriate, quality locks are fitted, that they are in good working condition, and meet your insurance requirements as necessary.
- Keys – Don’t hide keys under a door mat or flower pot as criminals are aware of this all too common method, particularly in student areas.
- Remove Valuables – When leaving the property unoccupied for a period of time, during Christmas break for example, ensure that you take all valuables with you. An empty house, without any activity is an easy target for thieves particularly in student areas where semester schedules are easily obtainable. If it isn’t possible to remove all items, ensure that they are out of view.
- Open Windows and Doors – Whether you’re only popping next door for a few minutes ensure that windows and doors are locked. It only takes an average of 12 minutes for a thief to gain entry into your property and be off with your valuables.
- Social Media – Social platforms are a hub of activity for thieves. Posting information such as current locations, photos of new pieces of tech equipment, or house address for those coming to a party often seems harmless but has the potential to become a disaster. Ensure you understand the risk of social media and that sharing doesn’t lead to a home break in.
Secure Locking Solutions
Whether you’re a student or landlord and you want to safeguard your home from unauthorised entry, why not give the team a call on 0117 967 4994 for more information and advice. We can assist you in finding the ideal solution for your property. Alternatively why not take a look at our FAQ and Blog pages where you’ll find additional information.