Nice weather: be aware of burglars!
As evidenced in national and local criminality figures, the number of burglaries increases substantially in the summer months, and particularly in student accommodation. Sometimes it’s equivalent to 10% of all burglaries. It's all about the good weather, which often means doors and windows are left wide open. And in student accommodation there’s always lucrative booty to be found by burglars. For example, PCs, laptops, iPads, smartphones and game consoles.
Ready for the taking
This picture can be confirmed by DUWO. Sander Jongerling, management team leader at The Hague: “It’s also our experience that students are too easy-going when the fine weather arrives. Leaving your windows open to allow the fresh air in while you laptop lies exposed on the desk makes it ready for the taking. Doors not properly locked when leaving. That’s why in some complexes we put a sticker on the inside of the doors stating, ‘don’t forget to lock your door’. But it’s difficult to enforce.”
“But one of the biggest problems is students putting obstacles between the main entrance doors of the complex to keep them open and make going in and out easier, especially in the summer”, said Albertien Wijma, management team leader in Delft. “This gives all sorts of people access to the building. And then you have the 'shadowers': people that shadow you inside when you open the entrance door of the building. The doors are also opened to strangers who ring the door bell and give some excuse to gain entry. If residents would just be a little more attentive, then the majority of the burglaries wouldn’t happen.
Tips to prevent burglary
DUWO would like to give the following tips for avoiding burglary in student accommodation:
- Always lock your room. Turn the key at least once. This prevents burglars from opening your door with a plastic card. (The so-called ‘flipper method’. It records the fastest time for opening doors at just over 5 seconds.)
- Don’t leave your room or entrance door open for ease of use when enjoying a party outside in the summertime.
- Don’t place an obstruction between the doorstep and the main entrance door for the sake of convenience (e.g. barbecuing in the garden in the summer).
- Only open windows if you are also present in the room. This includes the upper floors (burglars also use ladders) as well lower down!
- Make sure that nobody follows you into the complex or accommodation when entering the building. Where possible, don’t open doors to strangers, nor approach them in the complex.
- Never write your address on your keyring.
- Make sure that your valuables (laptop, iPad, etc.,) are not in full view. Put them out of sight whenever you are about to leave.
- Never state on your voicemail or on social media that you’re on holiday.
- Ask one of your flatmates to empty your letter box from time to time when you go away.
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