Student safety week in Jesmond

Volunteers from Newcastle University Students’ Union, Northumbria Students’ Union and members of Northumbria Police have launched an initiative to warn of the dangers and help prevent burglaries in the Jesmond area.

The Jesmond initiative runs alongside one in Heaton, where the volunteers will target the top ten most burgled streets in the areas and speak to residents about their household safety.

Photograph: Andrew Ciscel (Creative Commons)

The team of volunteers will be patrolling the streets handing out safety information, as well as introducing a novel method of highlighting the dangers of burglaries – by pushing a balloon through any room’s window which is open and unoccupied.

The balloon method is designed to indicate how easy a house can be burgled and will be accompanied by a slogan on the balloon saying, “Not if but when”. The balloons will also contain a web address – www.notifbutwhen.co.uk – where safety information, tips and warnings will be provided.

Throughout the rest of the week, there will be numerous events at each Student Union designed to further target crime in the highly populated student areas of Jesmond and Heaton, as well as providing information about other police concerns for students, including drink driving.

Newcastle University’s welfare and equality officer, Katy Hargreaves said: “High student populated areas are at high risk of burglary. Over 60 student properties have been burgled since September already. Students have lots of expensive gadgets such as laptops, iPods, DVDs, making them prime targets for robbery, and they do not always put safety first. It’s a scary mixture, so the student unions want to put a stop to this and make students put their safety and possessions first.”

If any residents have fallen victim of burglary, the advice is that they should immediately call 999. For additional support they can contact the two universities’ wellbeing services: Newcastle University on 0191 208 3333 and Northumbria University on 0191 227 4127.

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