University of Reading Safety Week 2007
Release Date 01 October 2007
Student and staff safety at the University of Reading is a priority and will be highlighted next week during the University's annual Security and Safety Awareness Week.
Advisors will be on hand from Monday October 8 until Friday October 12 to talk to staff and students about reducing the risk of becoming a victim of crime, while out and about on campus and also while out in Reading town and surrounds.
The University of Reading this week welcomes Freshers, who may be in Reading for the first time and almost certainly will be experiencing University life for the first time. In total the University serves around 17,500 students along with some 4,000 staff, the majority based on the 320-acre campus at Whiteknights.
Rhiann Davies, deputy security services manager at the University, said: "Our aim is to help students and staff at the University to be as safe and secure as possible. We would like this year's new students to enjoy their time at Reading and when they eventually leave us, to have happy memories unmarred by criminality. Most crime is opportunist so there is a great deal everyone can do to protect themselves and their property.
"We will be out walking around the University and talking to students to make sure they are aware of security issues in and around the campus. For many this is their first time living away from home and it's important to us that they feel as secure as possible, while also being alert to their own safety.
"Staff and students will be given some simple but essential tips that can really assist in reducing crime. Last year's event was a big success. This year's event promises to be of great benefit to everybody at the University once again."
The University has its own security department and last year also recruited police community support officers (PCSOs), in conjunction with Thames Valley Police. These officers – James Smith, Toro Akyildiz and Omendra Gurung- provide a visible police presence around the university, while making sure anti-social behaviour is kept to a minimum.
PCSOs are uniformed support staff whose role is to support the work of police officers working within a community. They use their limited powers to tackle lower level crime, disorder, nuisance and anti-social behaviour which helps free up time for regular officers to concentrate on more serious crimes and incidents.
During the safety week, various organisations will be on hand, including Reading Borough Council and Thames Valley Police, providing advice and information on safer driving, personal safety, travelling safely around Reading and safer cycling. Students will receive crime prevention literature and advice and will have the chance to have their property marked.
Lucy Ferguson, Media Relations Manager, University of Reading
0118 378 7388