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18th September 2015

How to beat the burglar

A little sound advice on what’s in place at university and in the community to keep your possessions in your possession

It’s no secret that Manchester isn’t the safest city in the UK, but adding a little common sense into your daily routine you and your possessions can stay out of harm’s way. By merely ensuring that doors and windows are locked when leaving you can prevent a burglary without having to invest in military strength padlocks.

Off-campus however, it’s a slightly different story: When you’re sharing accommodation with multiple occupants it can be difficult to know if you are, in fact, the last person to leave. In order to avoid any unwanted intrusions, make it part of your exit routine to lock and check any doors and windows.

Another way to avoid theft is to keep your possessions hidden from sight whilst out, whether this be under your bed or in your underwear drawer. After all, it’s not exactly the first place a thief would look, is it?! This is particularly relevant if you live on the ground floor, as your room can already be seen from public areas around the property.

Unfortunately it’s not only your possessions at home that are at risk, as bicycle theft is not uncommon. Investing in a reliable cycle lock—not a poor quality cable type lock—is an absolute must, as 99 per cent of cycle thefts in Manchester were of bicycles with a cable lock. Make the most of the university’s cycle crime reduction measures: Free online cycle registration, free visible marking of cycles and discounts on Gold Standard ‘D’ locks (from their RRP £45 to £15 for students).

Unattended items on campus are also liable to be targeted. The majority of laptop theft in campus buildings occurs as a result of leaving it unattended. We’re all guilty of reserving a space in Ali G with our possessions but a study space really isn’t worth the price of a laptop! Yes, even during exam periods.

Whilst all of this may seem a little overwhelming, students should take comfort that Manchester and its landlords are taking precautions to make Manchester a safer and more secure place. Manchester Student Homes, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police are collaborating on a burglary prevention project for this academic year which identifies properties that have been previously targeted by thieves and hardens these properties against being targeted in the future.

Furthermore, landlords are encouraged to issue their tenants with welcome packs including safety information specific to their property and area. GMP have also sent a ‘Welcome to the Community’ guide, containing essential safety and security information, to the parental address of second year students moving into their first off-campus property.

Ultimately, a little logic and awareness could ensure you emerge from university with all of your possessions still intact and in your possession. That is, unless you have a tendency to lose or break things yourself.

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