When looking for a new house, there are a couple of things you need to ask yourself:
- Do all the doors and windows have locks fitted and look secure?
- Is there an alarm fitted, does it work?
- Do smoke detectors work, are they all linked?
- Do you feel safe in the area you’re looking at? (take a look at our Crime Stats section for more information on the area!)
- Have the current tenants had any crime-related problems or have the neighbours?
If there are any issues or concerns with the property, then raise them with the landlord and ask for better locks on doors, and windows. Ask for an alarm or better outdoor lights. And make sure anything agreed on is in the contract before signing!
AROUND 50% OF ALL BURGLARIES AGAINST STUDENT’S PROPERTIES ARE THROUGH AN OPEN DOOR OR WINDOW
Most criminals are opportunists and are always on the look-out for easy targets. It’s a well known fact that students own the most expensive consumer goods per head than the rest of the population, therefore, it is not surprising that around 20% of students become a victim of crime each year. Burglary can only take a few seconds so have a look at some of our hints and tips in the checklist below to reduce the risk, heartache and hassle of you becoming a statistic.
- Are the doors and windows locked? This doesn’t just mean the front door, but any internal doors too. It might sound obvious but so many burglaries could have been avoided by just turning a key.
- Did you recognise the person who followed you into the halls? If you live in halls it’s easy to assume that everyone coming in and out are students, but you could also be giving a free pass to a burglar by holding the door open or letting in a stranger with your key.
- Laptop sat on your desk? I-pod on the windowsill? Car keys in full view? Such items are easy pickings for a burglar. Keep valuable items out of sight – put them in a drawer or wardrobe, or hide them under the bed. Also mark your property with the initials of your university and your student ID number – this makes it harder for a burglar to sell stolen goods and can help the police return items to you. (Come and get a UV pen from the Students’ Union. Limited stock left but we will keep getting more in!)
- How obvious is it that everyone’s out? Leave a light or radio on when you go out to give the impression someone is in – maybe use a timer switch and low energy light bulbs.
- Are you insured? Keep lists of the make, model and serial numbers of your electronic items to help police track them down if they are stolen.
Out and About
Don’t change your lifestyle, change your attitude
Being safe on the streets whether it’s in the day time or at night is about avoiding dangerous situations and being sensible. Use our check list below to see if you’re being safe on the streets!
- You will be safest in well-lit areas and where other people are. Stick to walking in places in areas like this. Robbery is more likely to take place in quiet dark areas.
- Pickpockets work in busy areas like shopping centres or on a packed bus. Keep your items and bags close and spread them about yourself.
- Make sure your bags are closed if possible so nobody can stick their hand in and grab something.
- Be inconspicuous with your valuables. Don’t go flashing your fancy new mobile, iPod or laptop; you become worth robbing with all that gear on you!
- Avoid walking alone at night and walk in groups. Better still, all share a taxi home. (Pop into the Students’ Union to talk about our new taxi safety scheme!)
- Avoid possible danger areas. Cutting across the city walls at night, or using the back allies of houses may save you five minutes and get you home quicker, but sticking to the well-lit busier streets around Chester is much safer as there is CCTV all around the “Garden Quarter” area
- When you go out tell your friends what time you expect to arrive home and where you are going, just so they know. If your plans change text someone to inform them.
- Keep belongings in your car out of sight. (For example: sat navs or bags). Also, remove the fronts of your car stereos and wipe away any tell-tale marks on your window screen where your sat nav has been.
- Keep cards and cheque books separate. Note down your card details so you can cancel them quickly if stolen.
- Be vigilant when using your mobile phone. If your phone is stolen, call your network to immobilise it.
- When using a cash-machine, be aware of nosey parkers and don’t count your money in the middle of the street.
So you’re out with your mates having a brilliant time in Cruise when someone approaches you and offers to get you a drink, after talking for a few minutes you think what’s the worst that is going to happen? Majority of the time nothing bad will come of it and you will get yourself a cheeky drink for free and even maybe some company later that night! But on the odd occasion it can all go a bit wrong, drink spiking is a serious and real threat to people on a night out. Read through our helpful tips on how to avoid your night ending in disaster.
- Don’t leave drinks unattended; keep them in eye sight or your hands!
- Never accept a drink from somebody you don’t know. If you do accept a drink from a stranger, go to the bar with them to keep an eye on your drink.
- If you feel drunker that you normally would, let a friend know so they can keep an eye on you and stop drinking “boozy booze” and turn to water and fruit juice!
- If you think your drink has been spiked, go to a safe place or tell somebody who you trust to help you and STOP drinking it!
- Try to drink from a bottle rather than a glass when possible as it is more difficult to spike a drink in a bottle. (Come into the Students’ Union and pick up your free “Spikey’s” take a handful out in your bag and whack them into your bottles, keeps them safe from any spiking!)
- Don’t drink leftover drinks…and mine sweeping may be a good idea to save money but it’s very dangerous, who knows what you’re drinking and who’s drink you have stolen?!
So you’re thinking of having a house party, this throws up a number of issues that you need to consider. The main ones are noise complaints and house security! Here are a number of things to consider before getting the party started.
- How many people have you really invited? When inviting people on social networking sites, be careful when setting up the invite – if you set your event to ‘open’ or make it your status anyone could turn up.
- Involve your neighbours where you can, the chances are you’re going to be next door for at least a year so try not to upset them, instead Inform them if you’re planning a house party, and possibly even invite them along, this way they are notified of the event and could even help organise it!
- Importantly watch the noise levels. Just because you don’t have to get a full night’s sleep, chances are someone on your street does. We aren’t asking you to turn the music off at 11, but playing earth shattering bass till 4 in the morning isn’t going to impress the locals! Just get it to a reasonable volume when it starts getting late, this will prevent any noise complaints the next day.
- Don’t advertise your valuables. If possible make sure bedroom doors are locked, or find a place where you can hide away laptops, MP3 players and anything else that you don’t want to find damaged or missing the next day.
- Who’s that girl over there? She’s pretty hot….hay that’s my iPod…. Make sure you actually know everyone. It’s your house and your party – keep it safe from random party-goers!
- Finally, don’t leave the place a mess. Check outside for broken glass or any other unusual additions to your garden.