Sheffield is widely reported to be one of the safest cities in the UK, but much like any other city it isn't crime free.
Although it is unlikely that you will become a victim of crime, thieves and petty criminals are renowned for targeting students as easy pickings. South Yorkshire Police constantly monitor crime trends, which show that one of the biggest spikes in crime is when students leave or return to uni.
The typical student house or flat often contains many more possessions than the average family home. That's why it's important to make sure that you and your property are safe and sound.
Follow the steps below to make your property less of a target:
- Don't advertise your stuff!
Keep your personal belongings out of sight through windows at your accommodation and don't leave empty packages for your expensive items outside for everyone to see.
- Make sure doors shut behind you!
Access controlled doors only work if they are shut, but they are too often wedged open!
- Beware of tailgating!
Avoid letting people into halls that you don't know. Don't allow anyone to tailgate you through any access controlled gates or doors. If you see someone or something suspicious report it to site staff and security immediately.
- Got it on lock!
Close and lock windows and doors if you're leaving the room, even if it is only for a short time e.g. going to the kitchen, bathroom, or a mate's room - the majority of burglaries are through insecure windows or doors.
- Your home is your castle...
Living in private sector? Make sure that side alleys are fitted with a secure locking gate and that any burglar alarms are set when you go out. Oh, and remember to get insurance!
- Get to know the neighbours
If you're on good terms they're likely to keep an eye on your stuff whilst you're away and can also be a great source of local info!
Out and About
- Keep it safe
Keep your bag with you and fastened at all times, and if you have to use a cash machine, make sure you are in a busy, lit up area, preferably with a mate next to you.
- Stranger danger!
Beware of being randomly approached or hugged by a stranger. Also keep an eye out for people asking for directions and using items such as a map or menu as distraction techniques.
- Safety in numbers
Walk home in a group and keep to a familiar, well lit, busy route.
- Protect your property
Download free tracking software such as PreyProject for your smartphone and register your property for free with immobilise. You can also mark your property using a UV pen with your uni and SHU ID Number.