So, Rothesay and Kimbolton Avenues probably aren’t the two most burgled streets in Britain; if a 2014 article published on an offshoot website of The Independent is to be believed, no postcode in Nottingham is even in the top 20 list of most-burgled areas of Britain. However, there’s no denying that student-heavy areas experience massive problems when it comes to theft, with stories of burglaries heard almost weekly. Teaming up with We Are Boutique and Safe.co.uk, we take a look at how you can keep your products safe and secure throughout the year…
So you don’t want your house to be burgled? Make sure you’ve locked and bolted your front and back doors, and keep all your windows closed. According to at least two different sources, about 30% of burglars don’t even need to do the ‘break’ part of breaking-and-entering, as they enter the property through an unlocked window or door.
Still, that leaves 70% of burglaries requiring at least some force. Unfortunately, crime is an undeniable part of life, and not all crimes are so victimless as you streaming movies on Putlocker when you know you really shouldn’t be. Chances are that throughout their time at university, almost every student will at least know somebody who has been burgled, if they are not the victim themselves. Yet there are ways to try to minimise your risk of being burgled (criminals, perhaps unsurprisingly, tend to avoid homes with a visible security system mounted to the wall, even if this is just a mock anti-burglar alarm).
“Almost every student will at least know somebody who has been burgled”
However, if we are burgled, there is unfortunately little we can do. Thieves are stealthy and usually act when people are sleeping, often undetected until after the crime is over – or, in student areas, they can act during holiday periods, treating Lenton or whatever area they might be operating in as a funfair of free stuff (indeed, the highest percentage of burglaries happen over summer). If you happen to witness a burglary, it is never wise to confront a burglar, as they may be armed. However, there are some ways to protect your valuables just in case your home does get broken into. And don’t think this list just applies to second and third years and beyond – people living in halls and flats, especially on the ground floor, can also fall victim to burglaries.
“It is never wise to confront a burglar”
Picture this: you have come back to your room – from a lecture, from Ocean, whatever – and notice a great void of a space on your desk where your laptop usually sits. You search your desk, your draws, all in vain, and it suddenly dawns on you that you have not only lost this £200-£700 object, but also all your files: your essay due next week, your photos from that holiday, your music (questionably downloaded or not, it was still yours), your memories.
While it is always wise to back-up all our data (CDs have more storage than USB sticks, and it might even be best to back up onto these as well as the Cloud), there are ways to prevent this great tragedy from taking place at all. A laptop safe is one option, suitable for laptops and tablets and inclusive of an electronic combination lock. Laptop safes are often compact if not entirely sleek (43x20cm), and easily hidden under your bed or in a cupboard – not that a thief would be interested in a safe they will find very difficult to open anyway.
For those who want a more portable option, it is also possible to buy secure laptop bags: some have 3 compartments with a cable lock utilising a combination which can be fixed to any point of the bag. Or you can make sure nobody comes into your room at all with an anti-burglary, motion-detector alarm designed for single-room use which is sure to make a burglar flee a house.
While some high-quality security products are highly recommended, we also recognise that students lack funds. Simple padlocks on drawers and cupboards can also be quite effective in securing your goods, and there are some tips (aside from locking your doors and windows) which can be effective in preventing the likelihood of burglaries, or at least minimising their effects…
- Keep your lights on when you go out, and even your hall lights on at night
- Change locks immediately if you lose your keys
- Never leave keys in any secret hiding places
- Keep a list of the items you own – this can provide assistance if you find yourself claiming insurance
- Find out if there are any Neighbourhood Watch Groups in your area
- Register your valuables (laptops, phones) with the police. Police may visit campus at points throughout the year to help you register your items.
Everybody is at university to have fun and few things are more stressful than realising you need to replace all your valuables (not to mention trying to remember that essay you wrote just last week!). Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them, but burglaries have to happen to someone, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Take a while to make precautions and prepare for the worst. You’ll thank yourself later.
Images courtesy of Sarah Bartlett from We Are Boutique and Safe.co.uk
Security products can be found at www.safe.co.uk.
Link to the article on Top 20 most burgled postcodes.