Student HelpZone

Keeping People Safe

Local businesses in Glasgow
providing services to support
the student community.

If you need immediate help always call 999

Secure Your Home

Student accommodation, be it halls of residence, rented property or shared accommodation, can be an attractive target for criminals. Here’s some general advice to help keep safe:

  • Never let anyone into your building or through the controlled entry door unless you know them or you’ve seen their ID: How often have you heard the door entry system buzzer go and you have just let them in, or they say they are the postman or gas man? Do you open your door and check? Do you ask for ID? Always check that people are who they say they are. If they cannot do this then don’t give them access to the close.
  • Report any suspicious activity to police or campus security: If you see something that you think is suspicious then it probably is.       Better to be safe than sorry.       Phone the police on 999 for emergencies or 101 for non-emergencies.
  • Use the security that you have: When leaving your accommodation, close and lock all doors and windows and USE ALL LOCKS! The Yale lock (or night latch) on your door is not sufficient on its own.       Make sure you have a mortice lock (preferably 5 lever) on your main door to your accommodation and make sure you use it even if you are just popping around the corner to the shops.       Thieves only need seconds to break in and steal your property.
  • Shut and lock your windows: If on ground floor close/lock windows when you are not in the room. Burglars can enter through your window when you are not in your room even if you are in the house. Burglars can climb drain pipes and scale roofs to snatch your valuables.       Don’t make it easy for them and make your home secure.
  • Don’t leave keys on hooks or on tables next to the door – A thief will look through your letter box and see if there are keys, car keys or items on hooks next to the door or on side tables in your hall. Thieves can hook them and either gain entry to your home or steal your car.
  • Don’t put your name, room number, or address on your key ring – if it’s lost or stolen, people could have information that directs them to your home.
  • Don’t give keys to trades people: Unless you know these people, they are strangers and you don’t know who they are.       If work is getting carried out on your accommodation make sure you are there at all times, make sure valuables are put away including keys, wallets, bank cards and even bank statements as they can make copies quickly and easily.
  • Get to know your neighbours – if you’re on good terms with them they’re likely to look out for your property whilst you’re out. You must repay the favour. If you are sitting in your home and you hear banging or you can hear people in the close who should not be there, then question why they are there or phone the police.
  • Secure your Building: The security door to your building is there for a reason. Do not leave doors on snibs or back doors unlocked including doors to back lanes. Make sure all doors have working locks and use them. If the security to your building is not in working order then speak to your landlord or factor to have them repaired.
  • Tidy Up: Keep your gardens/building looking tidy. Unkempt back or fronts yards give off the impression that the residents are lazy and in turn lazy about security. Over grown hedges and long grass can be used to the Housebreakers advantage as shelter/hiding spots. Boxes and bricks lying about will get used as tools to break into your homes. Don’t give the thief a helping hand.
  • Renters: Make sure your windows and door locks are in working order. If they are not get onto your landlord or rental agent and get them fixed.
  • Make sure all valuables are out of sight: Criminals may check out your property by looking through the windows to see if there is anything worth stealing. If you leave laptops, phones cash, jewellery etc. out on display they will know that your home is worth breaking into.
  • Security mark valuable items – this makes them more difficult for thieves to sell on. It also makes it easier for police to return items to you if they’re found. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is buying a UV (ultra violet) Pen. They can be sourced easily and cheaply. Simply write your Surname and house number and postcode on your property. If the item is handled on a regular basis then complete this procedure on a monthly basis as it may rub away.
  • Register Your Property: Place your mobile phone, laptop, camera and other property on the national security register called Immobilise – www.immobilise.com. It’s free! This register is checked by second hand retailers when they purchase items and by police when they come across found/lost property. If your property and its serial number are listed and thereafter stolen you can mark them as stolen so the second hand dealer can report the stolen property to the police.
  • Password/Pin Protect: The majority of smart phones, laptops, PC’s and even televisions now have password protection facilities on them. Items with GPS facilities also have GPS tracking on them. Make sure these facilities are set up and ready to go. If these items are stolen you can remotely lock them, wipe the memory of personal details and even pinpoint the building where the device is being held.
  • Stolen items: If you find your mobile phone or credit cards have been taken, report them has stolen to your provider as soon as possible and get them blocked so they cannot be used.
  • Take out contents insurance for your property: If you are a victim to Housebreaking or Theft then to replace the items is a costly business. Cover your belongings in case they are stolen.
  • Social Networking: Do not advertise on social networking sites when you are going to be away from home, where you live, party invites etc.       Lock down your privacy settings as much as you can and only allow your friends to see your posts and personal details. Do not accept invitations to be friends by random unknown people.
  • Use Timers: Use timers on lights so it looks like you are in when you are not.
  • If you discover your home has been broken into: If you arrive home and discover the door open or you can see that someone has forced entry, do not enter alone. If you think someone is still in your home then chap a neighbour’s door and phone the police. If you think that no-one is within then enter with a neighbour, however do not touch anything. Wait for police to arrive so that they can preserve evidence.