Students and their landlords are being warned to tighten up on security to avoid becoming victims of crime when university term starts again. Students are one of the highest at-risk groups of crime in the country, often targeted for high value laptops, TVs and entertainment equipment, frequently left in plain view and unsecured against intruders.
As letting out a house or flat to students is a thriving business, the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) is urging landlords to make home security a top priority to ensure that tenants, property and possessions are safe.
Students are also being warned to take simple precautions to prevent their possessions and equipment from being stolen when they move into a new property, or return to their old digs, at the end of September.
The Master Locksmiths Association is encouraging youngsters and their parents to question what locking systems are in place, when they were last replaced and how the copying of keys is controlled.
The organisation advises landlords to consult an MLA-approved locksmith, who will be able to carry out a security assessment on property and recommend suitable locks and fittings, as well as providing input from a safety point of view.
Dr Steffan George, development director of the MLA, said: “Whether they are going to university for the first time, or returning to study for another year, students will often find themselves in new accommodation. It is important that they are aware of security to keep themselves and their possessions safe as students are often regarded as an easy target by thieves. By taking simple precautions, landlords and students can avoid many of the risks that can lead to crime and taint the student experience.
“It is landlords’ duty to act in a responsible manner and they should install quality locks with patented keys, which can’t be copied without proof of ownership or restricted keys that can’t be easily copied due to their unique design.”