Universities in South Wales have dedicated student liaison officers working alongside them to make sure that students have a safe and positive experience, and these officers are well equipped with the knowledge required to be vigilant.
Thousands of new students have made their way into Wales over the past month as university courses have kicked off, so we thought it would be useful to highlight some key safety advice released by South Wales Police.
Student liaison officers are advising students to avoid drinks that they don’t see poured, and while out and about never leave your drink unattended. Try to make sure you stick with friends, and if you go out as a group make sure you go home as a group. Ensure that your mobile phone is fully charged before you leave your home, and if you need to call a non-emergency service then use 101. If the matter is an emergency, then call 999. It’s important that you distinguish the difference so that the correct number is called.
The officers also point out the importance of being wary of cyber crime and to be mindful of who they might befriend online and of what information they post.
Detective Constable Matthew Phillips, Cyber Protect Officer at South Wales Police, says that its advised students keep their online profiles private to restrict who can see their personal information, passwords should remain strong and unique, and nothing should be posted that the student wouldn’t want a family member or future employer to see. DC Phillips also noted the dangers of sexploitation, which is a form of online blackmail which can occur when someone threatens to share private content unless their demands are met. He urges students to never pay up as these are criminals that cannot be trusted, although its best to do all that you can to ensure you avoid this predicament in the first place.
When it comes to student accommodation, South Wales Police advise that students close and lock all windows and doors when leaving the property, and always keep all outside gates shut and secure. Never keep a spare key hidden outside the property, not even for a short space of time. Don’t put your name or address on any keys or key rings, as if you lose them then you are providing information that allows someone to access your property. All valuables should be kept safe and out of sight from windows and doors.
At the end of term, make sure that everything is securely locked and that you take all valuables with you. Valuables can also be registered with Immobilise, which is the UK’s national property register.
Another area of concern across South Wales is bike crime, and police are advising cyclists to keep they bike as safe as possible by locking it with a secure D-lock.
PC Mike Neate, Student Liaison officer, said that South Wales is a safe place to attend university, and officers are confident that freshers and returning students will enjoy a fantastic time here. However, they still urge that students take precautions to keep themselves and their possessions secure. Most of it comes down to common sense, but the excitement of students living away from home often results in some measures being overlooked.
Further safety information can be found in the USafe booklet, which has been produced by South Wales Police and is handed out at various student events.
If you’re a student in South Wales be sure to check out our student guide, or if you’re a landlord with a student property then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for expert advice. Our friendly team here at CPS Homes lettings and estate agents are keen to help you with any property matter. Call us on 02920 668585, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into one of our three Cardiff branches.