2020 has been a difficult year for everyone; the villainous virus has changed the lives of many people across the globe, particularly adolescents. Students across the UK have struggled with their education since schools closed in March, and many teenagers were disappointed with their predicted A-level grades due to the absence of exams. Despite this fiasco, pupils are now preparing to head off to university as COVID-19 restrictions gradually ease. Although we are currently sitting in a pandemic, many concerns regarding university aren’t going to be different, including security.
Whether it’s securing accommodation or personal safety, students will be turning over a new leaf. For most of them, it will be the first time they have separated from parents and carers to begin living independently. Understandably, this is an increasingly worrying experience, especially with the circumstances that have occurred this year. Security is crucial and sadly, criminals often target the younger generation due to the belief of them being an ‘easy target’. There’s certainly a lot to learn and experience to gain, which is why we have combined our top 5 security tips on how to stay safe in the new chapter of a student’s life.
What are the statistics for crimes committed in universities?
According to our research, property crimes are now the main source of on-campus crimes, accounting for an immense 95.5%. Deplorably, aggravated assault makes up almost half of violent crimes committed in student accommodation. Additionally, studies imply that almost 40% of college students forget to lock their dorm doors when they leave; paying attention to this figure could immediately minimise the amount of larceny-thefts.
How can you keep yourself secure?
1. Secure Accommodation
A study conducted by the ONS indicated that students are 7% more likely to be a victim of theft. In addition, criminals often take advantage of student accommodation during the holidays since they are left inactive.
Be sure to install alarms and lock all windows and doors before exiting, as the majority of burglaries are ‘walk-in’ thefts where thieves access the property through unlocked openings.
2. Protect Your Privacy
With the ability to access personal information through the advancements of the internet, fraudsters can obtain your identity and target your bank account or any other personal accounts you may have. You should ensure that documents containing personal information like bank statements are destroyed and never disposed unless it is shredded.
As regards to the world wide web, installing an anti-virus software, creating strong passwords, disclosing details from social media and remaining clear of dangerous websites are all ways you can increase your cyber safety.
3. Hide Your Belongings
Countless students own the latest gadgets and invest their hard-earned money in expensive treats. To avoid the heartbreak of losing these, make sure they’re kept out of sight and never on display. If you’re living amongst others, you may want to consider a lock to your bedroom as this will provide an extra layer of protection.
4. Emergency Contacts
Numerous teenagers own a smartphone so you should utilise the option to have emergency contacts. Police and ambulance services will commonly check these if the worst does happen since they are able to acquire your passcode in order to access your personal details and connect with members of your family.
Moreover, if you carry a planner, list these contacts here as well. All items that you keep with you on a regular basis are good spots to keep emergency information.
5. Stranger Danger
Believe it or not, an overabundance of teens still don’t know the true dangers of this subject. Be extremely careful about engaging with strangers who approach you and never give out your name, mobile number or address. If you are being followed or harassed, request help from security guards or go into a public premise and ask to call the police.
Additional security strategies
Ensure you know how you will be returning home once the evening is over, but try to avoid travelling alone. If this is not possible, contact friends and family by letting them know your method of transport. Avoid secluded places like parks, and stick to busy areas such as main roads.
Stay with Others
It is always safer to remain in a group; people who are alone will appear vulnerable. Create a plan if something were to go wrong on your night out together, such as getting separated.
Intoxication can affect your alertness, reflexes and response time. Always monitor the amount that you consume and keep an eye on your drink because spiking is more common than you may think.
Hide Your Belongings
Keep your phone, wallet, money and any other valuables hidden away so they are out of sight. If a thief notices something that they desire, they will most certainly attempt to get it.
What should you do if you fall victim to campus crime?
Needless to say, no one wants to contemplate the thought of being targeted by felons, nonetheless it is imperative that you recognise what to do in the worst case scenario…
It is easier said than done, but in the event of an emergency, try not to panic and stay as calm as you can. If possible, go to a safe place and call emergency services.
Having an attentive companion with you will make you feel secure. Call your relatives or friends, emotional support is vital after suffering from a crime.
Remarkably, there are a plethora of resources available to help you recover from the attack, such as mental health and counselling services.
Region Security Guarding can provide you with the best student accommodation security at affordable, competitive rates. We work our hardest to deliver efficient and reliable security services to our customers, providing only the most professional guards and experienced officers.
The Mix – 0800 808 4994
For 13 to 25 year olds with concerns including sex and relationships, your body, mental health, drink and drugs, housing, money, work, study, crime and safety.
If you’re in crisis and unable to talk, text THEMIX to 85258.
Victim Support – 0845 30 30 900
Free and confidential support and information to help people cope with the effects of crime.
Information and support for young people who may find themselves involved in the criminal justice system.
This guide aims to support you during your time as a student and provides useful tips and guidance.