STARTING university is a huge step, and a new chapter in young people’s lives. While students get caught up in the excitement of living alone, making new friends and discovering a new place, parents can be left at home worrying about their child’s safety.
Dyfed-Powys Police wants students to enjoy their time at university and has put together a checklist of security tips to consider before leaving home to take some of the pressure away from those first few days away from home.
Students are also being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the tea story – a clever online film that helps people understand when someone does or does not want tea. The same applies to sex. Sex without consent is rape.
Superintendent for Carmarthenshire, Gary Mills, said: “Quite often this is the first time young people have lived away from home. There is so much going on, meeting new people and exploring new places that students often forget about the importance of keeping themselves and their property safe. We’re also seizing the opportunity at forthcoming Freshers Fairs to speak to students about sex and consent. This is because unfortunately we do see an increase in the number of reports of sexual assaults from students around this time.
“One of the most important things to remember is that alcohol can seriously affect your sense of awareness, leading you to take risks. We want students to have fun, but be safe. If you become a victim of crime, or witness a crime taking place, we would urge you to contact 999 in an emergency or 101 if it is a non-urgent matter.”
Uniformed police officers along with PCSOs will carry out regular patrols in areas where there are a high number of student flats and houses. They will also be out to meet students as they arrive in the Dyfed-Powys Police area by being present at freshers’ fairs to provide crime prevention advice, and patrolling busy night spots into the early hours.
Thieves are known to target students and their properties because they know they have rarely lived away from home and might not be as security conscious as they could be. Students are encouraged to keep a log of their electrical items’ details and register their equipment at www.immobilise.com. This is a free service which only takes a few minutes to complete, but will assist police in returning stolen equipment to the rightful owner in the case of theft or burglary.
During the first few days on campus, we advise that students make themselves familiar with the area – pick up a map, bus or train timetable, and save the number of a reliable taxi firm in your phone. Parents can help with this if they are dropping students off at university for the first time.
Visit our Freshers website page to watch the tea story about consent and to look up more security advice for students. (https://www.dyfed-powys.police.uk/en/newsroom/campaigns/have-you-heard-the-tea-story/)