‘When there is an abundance of Apple products and an absence of common sense, burglaries and theft become the norm.’ – Confucius (not actually Confucius but what I imagine he would have said had he have been a fresher)
Student areas are constant hotspots for burglary and theft up and down the country in big cities and small university towns alike. It’s safe to say that nearly every university student has either been burgled, or at least knows someone who has been. However, for such an endemic problem there seems to be an absence of comprehensive guides online specifically designed for students to protect themselves from burglary and theft.
Therefore, I have compiled seven tried and tested tips to avoid burglary and theft at university. The tips listed below are a mixture of ones developed by myself and those I have found through researching home security. These methods have been successfully used by those in Survivalist and Self Defence groups alongside myself (The only person who robbed me at university was the Student Loans Company). Some of them are rooted in common sense, whilst others are more obscure, yet nonetheless are equally as effective.
Without further ado let’s begin:
1) Getting into a habit of locking your windows and doors, even when you are inside your house:
A surprising as this may sound, I knew of many people at university who had their rooms burgled whilst they were inside their own house! They were often metres away in the living room unaware what was going on.
2) Mindfully enter and exit your house:
This tip is composed of two separate actions. Firstly, don’t enter or leave your house with earphones in and music blasting, as you will most likely be in an autopilot state and not 100% aware of your surroundings.
Following this, I personally found it very useful to mindfully concentrate on locking my front door. Whilst locking my door I’d often say to myself internally ‘I have twisted the key and locked the door’ so it became something I never forgot to do.
3) Hide your electronics and valuables well within your room:
Whenever you leave the house to go somewhere, get into the habit of not leaving valuables on your desk, instead, find hidden storage spaces within your room and place them there. A number of places could be used such as: in a wash basket underneath dirty clothes, in your pillowcase or even in a suitcase. Thieves on average spend 8-12 minutes inside a house; digging through your dirty clothes would not be at the top of their priorities.
4) When inside your room, avoid keeping your curtains fully open:
As important as sunlight is for mental and physical health, having your curtains fully open for all passer-by’s to peer in and see your valuables can transform your room into an Oxford Street store display for would-be criminals.
(Alexa: play 50 Cent Window Shopper)
By not leaving your curtains wide open, criminals will not be able to easily peer in and see what valuables are in your room.
5) Make sure there are no heavy objects or tools in your front garden:
Although student front gardens often resemble a stag do at Chernobyl, with beer cans and waste everywhere, sometimes there are objects such as bricks and pipes knocking about. These are useful improvised tools for a would-be burglar to quickly smash a front window, as such they should be removed from your front garden.
6) Place plant pots and thorny plants on your outside windowsill:
They will serve as a slight deterrent to burglars as they won’t be able to easily climb through an open window without moving or breaking the plant pots, both of which would draw unnecessary attention.
7) Keep plates/cups/glasses on your inside windowsill:
Upon an intruder climbing through your window, they would end up smashing any glasses or cups on your windowsill. The loud noise this would create would doubly serve to startle the burglar and alert any of your housemates nearby that something of concern is going on in your room.
Ps. It gives you an excuse to keep old cups on your windowsill for longer, ‘it’s for the safety of the house mum, leave me alone’
These tips and tricks are by no means an exhaustive list of home security strategies. However, they will provide you with the means to greatly reduce the likelihood of being burgled whilst at university.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of this, I hope the only time you are robbed at university is after paying the £3.99 McDonalds delivery fee on a sluggish, hungover morning.
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