Campaign tackles high student burglary rate in Leeds
The charity Crimestoppers has teamed up with students from Leeds University to create a series of visual messages to raise awareness of the issue of burglary amongst the student population and encourage them to protect themselves. Statistically almost a third of students in Leeds (which has the fourth largest student population in the UK) have been the victim of crime while at university in the city.
It was run as a competition and won by Amy Woodward and Megan Chown who used twists on TV and movie references to get the message across. Taking inspiration from Harry Potter, Scooby Doo, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, they created largely typographic posters applying recognisable phrases in the context of protecting yourself from a burglary. See the posters below and read about the campaign here on the Crimestoppers website.
Why are students at risk from burglary?
Insecure burglaries – where intruders gain access through an unlocked door or window – account for the largest number of incidents. When lots of people are coming and going in a shared house it can be difficult to make sure the door is always locked but it is a habit people need to get into from the start. It’s also hard to keep track of who has a right to be in the house, especially at the start of the academic year when you don’t know everybody as well and people invite friends round.
How can students protect themselves from burglary?
Here are our best home security tips for students:
- Always keep the doors locked, even when there are people in the house. Speak to housemates to make sure they understand the importance of this and perhaps stick a notice on the door to remind them such as this one
- Don’t leave valuable items in communal areas such as the kitchen or living room; keep them locked away in your room. These living areas are the first ports of call for burglars plus with potentially lots of people in and out of the property it would be hard to keep track should anything go missing. They could also be seen from outside the property
- Ask your landlord whether your doors have anti-snap locks fitted and, if not, whether they would consider having them installed. These offer much better protection than standard door locks
- If you don’t have a lock on your bedroom door or feel that they lock is not fit for purpose, consider buying a small safe for your room for valuable items
- Don’t leave keys lying around where they can be picked up by anyone. Keep them on you at all times
- Don’t be afraid to challenge anyone in the house that you don’t know. They may just be a friend of another housemate but if they have a legitimate reason to be there they shouldn’t mind being asked
- Be careful about who you friend on social media and what you share. As you meet new people it’s only natural to want to add them into your social networks but you don’t really know anything about them. Maybe consider waiting to add them or restricting what they can access to start with. Don’t check in at uni, in bars and clubs or when you go home for the weekend as that just lets people know that you’re not at home and definitely don’t advertise house parties as you could get much more than you bargained for!
The new campaign is being rolled out all around Leeds – especially in Burley, Woodhouse and Hyde Park where most burglaries are reported – and on social media channels. Going to university is expensive enough without the cost of a burglary to add on!