Do you feel safe in your student house?

Too many students fail to take basic precautions against burglary

When first year students make the leap of moving away from home and into student accommodation they may experience homesickness, freshers’ flu and struggle to make themselves a Sunday roast that matches their mum’s. 

But living in university halls can still feel like you’re being covered in a safety blanket. It’s not until second year when most students find houses of their own and have the responsibilities of paying bills and dealing with landlords.

In a lot of student areas, it seems that there has been an increase in crime and some students have even admitted that they look forward to moving back home after they graduate.

In Newcastle, Olivia Lawrence came back to her house after being in the library all day to find a window blowing open and closed in the wind and the doors ajar.

"It made me very nervous and I just had this eerie sense that something wasn’t right," she said of her approach to the house. "I peeked inside and my room was literally upside down… I was shaking and crying, just not knowing what to do at all. I had everything stolen. Laptop, iPod, satnav, camera, even a full litre bottle of good vodka! We didn’t sleep there for two nights and after that I slept with the light on for about four days."

Unfortunately, it seems that this kind of horrible incident is not uncommon. In Birmingham, a student flat above an off-license got broken into twice in one month.

Resident Jenny Robinson told us that the burglars broke "all of the bedroom doors and took everything they could find."

"They rifled through my underwear draw and my jewellery box and wardrobe… I think the best way to describe how we all felt was violated. The fact someone else had been in my room and touched my personal items made my skin crawl. We all felt extremely unsafe. It also made me very nervous at it was suggested by the police that the burglars could have been watching the house."

When Catherine Sullivan’s house got burgled in Leeds, she found that the police were more of a comfort to her and her housemates.

"The police were really good at keeping me updated with progress and I got a call from the victim support. It was quite reassuring to know things like that do exist and work. I guess students are just easy targets as they quite often aren't in the house and leave all their stuff lying around. There have been several burglaries in Leeds in the last few weeks, and there isn't a lot you can do to prevent them.’

Over a thousand student homes in Manchester were burgled last year alone, and one in three were caused by occupants leaving doors or windows unlocked. On the Manchester City Council website, there is a page on student safety with some basic tips to follow to protect your house from being burgled, for example: not drawing attention to the fact that you have left the house by turning all the lights off without leaving them on a timer.

Many other Student Union websites have their own guides on keeping safe, try looking up the one for your area. Of course, some burglaries are unavoidable, so make sure that all your valuables are insured. Moving away from home should be about enjoying your newfound freedom, not living in fear.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + + uncapped commission + benefits: SThree: Did you ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits + uncapped commission: SThree: Did you kn...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Web Developer

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence