Fresher's week means rich picking for burglars

Monday 20 August 2007

Fresher's week means rich picking for burglars

  • 1 in 3 students fall victim to crime at University each year
  • A quarter of all burglaries are through an open or insecure door or window, and take place within a few weeks of a new term
  • For information on Saga's Student Cover and a free copy of the Student Survival Guide call 0800 015 4752

1 in 3 students fall victim to crime at University each year1. Little wonder, with 76% of students owning a computer or laptop, 90% owning mobile phones and most student digs also equipped with TVs, DVD players and iPods. Replacement costs for these items alone, and a collection of just twenty CDs or DVDs, could be as much as 2,000.

In order to reduce this type of crime, Saga Home Insurance is offering a free Student Survival Guide, which has been produced by the Home Office, together with the police and National Union of Students as part of its crime reduction campaign.

Nationally, around a quarter of all burglaries are through an insecure door or window1. Saga is advising parents of students looking for student digs in either halls – of – residence or private rented accommodation, to carry out a quick security check on the property, paying special attention to windows and doors to see just how easy it would be for a thief to break in.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga, said:

"For many students, making new friends and socialising will be high on their agenda and security is unlikely to be at the forefront of their minds. This makes them easy targets for criminals, but by taking a few simple security measures, the risk of becoming a victim can be greatly reduced."

Saga Student Cover is available as an add – on for students whose parents have Saga's Home Contents Insurance and provides up to 3,500 of cover for contents at the student's accommodation and while transferring to and from home. There is also an additional option for the policy to cover loss or damage to personal belongings, bicycles and sports equipment, anywhere in the UK.

The Student Survival Guide, designed specifically for students and available to both parents and students alike, gives information about how to mark property as well as advice on protecting belongings around campus and in student accommodation. A copy of the free guide is available online at or by calling 0800 015 4752.

Before moving in ask yourself:

* Does the property have outside lighting?

* Is there a burglar alarm?

* Do all external doors have five – lever mortice deadlocks?

* Do internal doors and ground floor windows have locks?

* Is there a safety chain on the door?

* Is there a lock on all windows?

Tips on protecting your belongings:

* Use a UV marker pen to mark possessions with your name and student ID number or parent's postcode, or use one of the forensic coding liquids that are now available

* Ensure your property is securely locked when you go out – and avoid leaving notes announcing "I'm out"!

* Keep a separate record of credit card numbers in case cards are stolen

* Use a timer switch for lights and radios to give the impression you are in

* Make sure your TV, DVD and other valuables can't be seen from the outside

* Don't leave your mobile lying about – keep it hidden when not in use. Register your mobile on so it can be blocked if stolen and returned to you if found

* Get insurance in place before you arrive at university or college

For information on Saga's Home Insurance call 0800 015 4752 or visit


Notes to Editors-

1. Home Office figures 2007

2. Figures taken from:

3. Average prices taken from the

Features of Saga Student Cover:

Student cover is available as an add-on to Saga's Contents Insurance.

Level 1 at 31.05 a year per student covers loss or damage to contents in student's accommodation and while transferring to or from home.

Level 2 at 82.80 a year per student additionally covers accidental damage to contents in student's accommodation, loss or damage to the student's pedal cycle anywhere in the United Kingdom, loss or damage to student's personal belongings while they are anywhere in the United Kingdom and personal money up to 250.

Both levels provide up to 3,500 of cover

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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