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University of Reading statement regarding student robberies/assaults – University of Reading

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University of Reading statement regarding student robberies/assaults

Release Date 01 December 2006

The security, safety and welfare of students is a priority for the University of Reading and it is working with police and the student body to ensure students prevent themselves becoming a victim of crime. The University's own security team is holding a drop-in session in the Student's Union on Wednesday lunchtime where students will be able to obtain alarms and other crime prevention advice, and tonight will be starting a poster campaign in local pubs, clubs and bars to raise awareness of crime prevention. Senior University staff are also liaising with the parents of students who have been victims of crime. On a practical level, the University has an ongoing programme to improve lighting around the campus. All students - and staff - should be vigilant both on and off campus. Students can be vulnerable to crime if they are out late, walking home alone at night, are drunk, or are carrying valuables such as mobile phones and cash. We would always advise that students avoid putting themselves in situations where they may become a target for criminals – we advise travelling home together, in taxis or on buses, not putting your mobile on show and not getting too drunk on nights out helps. Alcohol is a major factor in crime, through people getting too drunk to protect themselves from harm and putting themselves in vulnerable situations. These are our tips for staying safe: • Avoid walking home alone, especially at night • Get a personal alarm which you keep handy • Carry your bag close to you and with the clasp facing inwards • Avoid dark, unlit and lonely routes which are not used by many people • If you jog regularly, vary the route and time and remember your personal stereo may drown out vehicles and people coming up behind you • Keep your wits about you – being drunk won't help • If you are threatened, scream and shout and make as much noise as possible • Be observant and use common sense. If something looks suspicious report it to police or campus security • Don't flash your valuables; keep phones, expensive jewellery, laptops, credit and cash cards and cash away from public view • Don't hitchhike or accept lifts from strangers – especially if you are female • Self-brief – use police websites and Crimestoppers to make sure you are aware of crime prevention advice. Thames Valley Police's website has excellent sections on personal safety and specific student advice • Use a reputable taxi firm, ask to see ID if needs be, and travel in groups • On buses, sit near the driver if possible, don't hang around lonely bus stops at night and on trains make sure you are in a busy carriage, and sit near the emergency cord if possible ends Lucy Ferguson, senior press officer 0118 378 7388

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