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Students warned about burglaries

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Devon & Cornwall Police WJ55AGOPolice have warned Exeter University students after a recent spate of burglaries in the city.

Over the past month there have been seven burglaries in the St James Ward and eight in Duryard. The rise in thefts has also been attributed to burglars targeting Christmas presents such as laptops and tablets. A recent survey in a student accommodated area also showed numerous properties to be insecure with many leaving windows and doors open.

Statistics published by the Home Office show that households comprising of people aged between 16 and 24 are the most likely to be burgled due to poor security and expensive items being left unattended.

As well as student accommodation being targeted by burglars, there has also been an increase in opportunistic thefts on campus with bicycles and laptops the most common items stolen.

Police have advised students to secure their properties as best as possible, keep possessions out of sight and avoid storing packaging for new valuables in their gardens as this can send a signal to prospective criminals. They have also recommended that computer work is backed up to prevent it being lost. If a student notices anything suspicious near their home or would like to report a burglary they should contact the police on the non-emergency number 111.

People are also encouraged to sign valuable belongings onto the website www.immobilise.com which allows stolen property to be located and returned more easily. Free property marking is also available through the University’s Student Community Wardens. This can be booked by emailing streetwise@ex.ac.uk.

Chris Rootkin, VP Welfare and Community, said: “I urge all students to think carefully about the security of their houses both before going out and when at home. It only takes a second to secure a door or window and the statistics exist to prove that burglaries are increasing, so be vigilant. For any more information about student safety or security, please come and find me in Devonshire House or contact the Community Wardens”.

PC Ian Lugg, Neighbourhood Beat Manager for the University of Exeter, commented: “Most burglars are looking for an easy way in through an open door or window. If you keep yours locked and secured then you are much less likely to become a victim. If you register your valued possessions and ownership details online with immobilise you increase your chances of getting it back”.

A third year history student told Exeposé: “It is certainly a concern that opportunistic criminals are preying on the student population. However, if students remain vigilant I see no reason why Exeter should lose its reputation as a safe student city”.

Simon Dewhurst, News Team

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