Student halls of residence, student houses and students generally can be a top attraction for criminals. The police work closely with the University of East Anglia and with colleges and schools across the county and although crime is relatively low in Norfolk, students still remain a top target with about one in three falling victim to crime.
Why is this? Students own more expensive consumer goods per head than the rest of the population. They have laptops, mobile phones, iPods and televisions and often walk around with some of those when making their way to and from the university campus.
- Shut doors and windows before you go out and keep valuables out of sight and if possible away from these entry points.
- Lock up whenever you leave your house, using deadbolts if you have them. Consider installing a security alarm.
- Lock your bedroom door even if you are only going down the corridor. Be careful who you let in or who follows you into the building when in halls of residence.
- Invest in a fireproof safe in which you can store priceless papers and documents.
- Mark your property with the initials of your university (e.g. UEA) and your student ID number. This makes it harder for a burglar to sell stolen goods and can help the police to return items to you. Also protect yourself with insurance and keep lists of the make, model and serial numbers of your electronic items to help police recover and return your valuables to you.
Out and about:
- Walk in a group at night, travel by taxi or stay over with friends; your safety is worth more than the cab fare home. Don’t make yourself an easy target to thieves.
- Use cash-machines during the day. Remember to cover your PIN. Put your card and cash away and be vigilant. Never write down your PIN.
- Keep cards and cheque books separately and note down your card details securely so you can cancel them quickly. Use secure sleeve products to protect your contactless credit card from theft.
- Be vigilant when using your mobile phone. If it is stolen, call your network or 08701 123 123 to immobilise it.
- Lock your car and put valuables out of sight, never leave the keys in the ignition even when paying for fuel.
- Take care at gigs as thieves are experts at dipping into the pockets of jeans in confined spaces and you will not feel a thing. Make sure mobile phones are difficult to get to – e.g. an inside or buttoned up pocket where an attempt to lift it will be felt.
- Don't leave drinks unattended and don’t drink it if it looks like it’s been tampered with.
- Laptops are extremely popular items for thieves to steal so do not leave them unattended. What will you do about your coursework if your laptop is stolen? Make sure it is backed up.
- Mobile phones go missing where they get left on tables or in handbags and not watched. Remember thieves will target these areas for unattended items. They will also check pockets on jacket and bags hanging on the backs of chairs.
- If your phone is stolen the police will need your IMEI number which can be found by entering *#06# in your phone or on the inside under the battery. Keep a note of this number on immobilise or your own records. This number will tell police everything they need to know about the phone. Also report it to your service provider to get the phone blocked.
- If you use a cycle during your studies, check out our cycle section for tips on keeping it secure.
As a student don't miss a valuable website that has been created specifically for you. Packed full of interesting features and practical advice written by professional journalists and experts, studentastic provides an excellent reference point on how to survive student life and have a great time as well.