14 October 2022

The students guide on how to prevent theft

Starting the new year at university is an exciting time, whether you’re a first year student moving into halls, or if you’ve just shacked up in a new student accommodation for the year with friends. While it’s easy for the excitement of the year ahead to take over, knowing how to keep your belongings safe in these new environments will make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the coming year.

Most students will move in with their own televisions, laptops, game consoles and other high value items rather than using these as shared items as they would be in a family home. This increased number of high value items means these accommodations could be more likely to be targeted by thieves. The Office of National Statistics reports that young people are more likely to be victims of burglary, citing households with the highest percentage of burglaries happened where the head of the household was aged 16-24.

So what can you do to be reassured that while away from home, your belongings are safe? We’ve put together a short list of steps you can take to feel reassured in your new uni environment.

1. Lock up!

While this might seem obvious to most, it can be easy to quickly feel comfortable in your new lodgings. Unfortunately, sometimes with this comfort can come complacency. Most thieves, whether they realise it or not, will work on a risk vs reward basis. The greater the risk of being caught, the bigger the reward will need to be. By leaving doors and windows unlocked, that risk becomes significantly reduced and that laptop you’ve left on the side looks even more inviting. Which brings us to our next step.

2. Out of sight, out of mind.

Take active measures to keep high value items out of sight. The last thing you want to do is lay out a shop window display of all your most expensive items to a would-be thief, so when you’re not using items such as your laptop, make sure they’re stored away when you’re out. It’s also good to develop a habit of storing these away even when you’re home. You never know when you might have visitors, or even if your room mates have visitors of their own who might be nosier than you might prefer. It’s also worth considering how many of your high value items you really need to take with you to uni. A laptop to do work makes sense but packing up every piece of expensive jewellery you own might not be the best way to manage risk.

3. Next door delivery.

There are a number of times you might be away from your new abode. Whether you’re back visiting family for a weekend, off on a holiday with your uni mates or away knuckling down on reading week, it’s best not to advertise that your student accommodation is empty. One of the simplest ways to highlight this is if you have deliveries left on your doorstep in your absence. To avoid this, try to schedule deliveries for when you’re home, or if you can, have them delivered to a neighbour.

4. Get the App.

Many universities now have their own apps that not only allow easy access to your emails and information on your course, but also offer features such as campus maps and security information. These can be a great way to have information quickly to hand should something go wrong. There are also apps designed specifically for security that many universities recommend such as SafeZone and bSafe. It’s worth downloading these apps not only to help you with uni life in general, but to give you reassurance that you can quickly check what to do should you have a problem.

5. Get Insured.

Unfortunately, no matter how many steps you take to keep your belongings safe, there will always be a risk that something might go wrong. That’s where insurance can help. A single high value item alone can be hard to replace, especially if you’re already trying to wrangle your spending. Insurance can help levy that cost meaning that if you need to replace an item, it’ll be far less of a financial burden.

Going to university is often a life shaping experience, and one that you should enjoy as much as you can. However, personal security is always worth considering, and most people will often find the enjoyment much easier with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re prepared for the worst.