News | Burglary spike in student areas

The most recent crime statistics have revealed that burglaries in student areas are on the rise, with more offences recorded in September compared to the same time last year.

The figures come despite a joint attempt from Leeds universities to combat the problem by staggering return dates for Freshers’ week.

There were 81 burglaries in Hyde Park, Woodhouse, Headingley, Weetwood and Kirkstall during September, up by 11 incidents compared to August 2013.

Students were the victims of 41 per cent of last month’s burglaries of which 64 per cent were the result of homes being left insecure.

A representative of the Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “It is disappointing that such a significant proportion of burglaries are still down to doors and windows being left unlocked with students being the victims in a large number of those incidents.”

After 80 houses were discovered to be insecure, police stepped up efforts to encourage students to install correct security. “Just this weekend my officers visited 800 homes and found 120 of them with open windows or unlocked doors” the Neighbourhood Policing Team said in a statement. “I can’t stress enough how important it is for people to take the simplest precautions to protect their homes”.

“We have an ongoing initiative, Operation Archimedes, which sees officers visiting areas with high student populations to check homes and offer crime prevention advice. I would encourage people not to wait for one of those visits but to act now and make sure their home is secure,” said the policing team.

Police are increasing efforts as with hours of darkness increasing when the clocks change. “Early nights gives burglars more opportunities to target homes,” the team representative said, adding: “we will be increasing patrols in hotspot areas and through targeting known offenders to combat the traditional increase of offences.”

Colette Armitage

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