Some key police advice to students at the University of Hertfordshire

YOU’VE passed your exams and are about to move out of home for the first time to embark on a life at university.

Among your possessions you’ve packed your TV, DVD player, iPod and laptop and you’re ready to work hard and play hard as an undergraduate.

But, has it crossed your mind that as a student, living in halls of residence or digs, you are a prime target for criminals – specifically burglars?

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team wants to help you reduce your chances of becoming a crime victim with its anti-burglary initiative Operation Guardian.

The crusade against burglary, which began in 2009, pays particular attention to Hatfield-based University of Hertfordshire students and delivers the message “keep your property safe and secure”.

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Welwyn Hatfield neighbourhood inspector Ian Grout told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “There is nothing worse than finding out you have been burgled – especially if it could have been easily prevented.

“Laptops, iPods, jewellery, electrical and small items that are easy to sell on are often the targets, so keep jewellery locked up and out of sight.

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“Make sure your property is photographed and security marked so that, if it is stolen, we can trace you as the owner easily.”

Known criminals in Welwyn Hatfield continue to get regular visits from police officers keeping track of their whereabouts and making sure they have limited opportunities to burgle.

Insp Grout added: “Hatfield has previously been seen as easy pickings for burglars with new and returning students sometimes being lax with their security.

“[But] we want to let burglars know that we have stepped up patrols.

“We have teams of covert and overt officers acting on live information and we will do everything we can to make burglars unwelcome in Hatfield.”

David Ball, dean of students at the uni, said: “We take the safety of our students very seriously and would urge anyone who notices any unusual or suspicious activity to make contact with the police or our on-site security team as a matter of urgency.

“The university has 24-hour, seven days a week security available to help students deal with anti-social behaviour or unwanted visitors.

“Students can contact the community office for support with issues such as burglary or general help or advice.”

And the final message for burglars?

“We will be relentless in our pursuit of burglars [so] if you want to come to Hatfield to burgle don’t bother,” was the warning from Insp Grout.

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