University of Sheffield Crime Prevention Fortnight is determined to tackle burglary aimed at students’ houses
The university’s annual campaign ran on weekdays between Monday 26 September to Sunday 9 October from 10am to 4pm at the campus’ newest building the Diamond.
PCSO Steve Hart said: “What we tend to find with burglary is that because it’s a student city most of the burglaries target students, usually because they aren’t as security conscious as they should be.
“Burglars can steal all the valuables in the house and actually walk away with £300 or £400 worth of goods in 30 seconds to a minute.”
Crime Prevention Fortnight included a drop-in session with PCSOs where students could ask questions and advice. Personal alarms, glow bands and torches were also given out in order to ensure safety.
PCSO Dan Richardson said: “The key word is freshers’ week. A lot of them are away from home for the first time and security is the last thing on their mind.
“They want to get settled in, meet new friends, get out and enjoy themselves, so the security aspect is probably at the back of their minds when it really needs to be at the far front.”
Millie Wilson, University of Sheffield student, lives in known student neighbourhood Crookesmoor, and was burgled along with her five housemates at the beginning of freshers’ week.
“It was the first night that I had moved into my house and we all went out to Poptarts and we came back and found out we had been burgled.
“They took everyone’s laptop, three phones, two watches and a car.
“We rang the police and told them what happened. No one slept until the following night but it felt weird going to bed.
“It wasn’t the fact that our stuff was gone, you can replace material things but knowing that someone has been in your private space and they gone through your drawer, touched your things, moved your bed.
“It felt creepy, like a violation of your privacy. It was very unsettling.” she said.
Thea Oram, University of Sheffield student, who has never been burgled and also lives in Crookesmoor said: “I think it’s just blind ignorance, I guess, I think it’s never going to happen to me because I’m safe but it only takes one person in the house to not lock the door.”