Key Safety Advice in Cambridge
This is a breakdown of the main points of advice from the Crime Reduction Officer with Parkside Police.
- 1 in 3 students are victims of crime.
- Students are a high risk group : Thieves know that you are likely to have a laptop, camera, DVD player, mobile phone, wallet and that as you just have one room, that is where it will all be.
- The statistics from 03-04 state that there were 557 bicycle thefts reported, and 110 burlaries, of which, 76 were due to walk ins.
- 65% of students leave their door unlocked! If you treat your room door as though it opens out on to the street and always lock it (even if you pop over to a friend or for a long bath) - that way you're far less likely to be a victim of crime.
- The Laptop Marking System is useful - thieves have to get rid of laptops very quickly, so if yours is marked it will make it less appealing.
- Thieves look through windows! - make sure your valuables are not strewn across the room, this is practically an invitation!
- Fake cash machines - they are sophisticated and they are in Cambridge. Always check for tampering, as it is really not obvious. Run your fingers round the edge of the card slot and along the upper sides of the hollow in the wall. If you are unsure, do not use it. An alternative is to use the CASHBACK service at a supermarket, Sainsburys certainly does it and they are open until 10pm almost every night.
- Drinks safety - don't leave drinks unattended. This goes for everyone - men's drinks get spiked too.
- Drink responsibly - know your own limits, try and always to have someone in your group who isn't going to drink as much who can be there for the others.
- Use Alcotops - but remember they are not infallible. Just do not leave your drink unattended.
This is mostly common sense thankfully. One key element to it is PLAN AHEAD and make arrangements. Hilary talked about that time not so long ago when mobiles weren't available and people were far more used to making plans. "I'll meet you at 1am at the cloakroom" is an easy to remember arrangement, meaning that if you do get separated for any reason, nobody has to walk home on their own. A few suggestions -
- If you are going to be out late, carry an attack alarm - in your hand, or even in your hand in your pocket. These are available from the ECSU Shop for the subsidised cost of Â£1!
- Try to stick to well lit streets
- Avoid short cuts down alleys or across the open green spaces late at night.
- Go round Parkers piece, there is no CCTV in the middle - there are dark spots and just because there is a police station opposite does not mean you are safe.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Walking is more dangerous, walking with headphones exposes you because you are not aware of what is going on.
- Parkers Piece is not the only area of Cambridge that is badly lit.
- Be aware on - the corner of Trumpington St. and Silver St.
- Be aware between Trinity and Johns
- Between the back gate of college and Warkworth
- It is a better route if there are lots of people around. If you are being followed or are concerned, then there are SAFE PLACES - remember you can pop in to a shop or a petrol station and that ALL plodges are sources of safety, whatever college.
Paired with college's Respect and Dignity policy and new Sexual Harassment policy, which promotes zero tolerance to sexual harassment, the ECSU committee have created a Sexual Harassment Advice Document which details what action to take and who to contact in such a situation.
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