Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Sunday 27 September 2020

Students: easy targets for burglars

27th January 2014

Share This Article:

Burglary is on the rise in the UK, according to reformed criminal and BBC’s ‘Beat The Burglar’ expert Michael Fraser - and students are easy targets due to having lots of valuables and a relaxed attitude to security.

Michael is working with top insurance companies advising them on new challenges, including the risks of social media.

  • Every year there are over 1 million reported burglaries and attempted burglaries in the UK
  • Half a million recorded burglaries take place in England and Wales each year
  • A burglary happens every 40 seconds in the UK
  • It is estimated that 1/3 students become victims of crime, mainly theft and burglary
  • 20% of student robberies occur in the first six weeks of the academic year
  • King's College London students have the highest risk of being victims of violent crime, burglary or robbery
Despite police figures showing reported burglaries going down year-on-year, Michael tells us burglary is actually on the increase, especially in student areas, due to the recession.

Michael says: “National statistics paint a different picture of what is really going on. I’ve spoken to property owners, charities and the top insurance companies and they’re all saying burglary is on the increase. The recession means less jobs and more opportunists looking to benefit from burglary.”

He adds: “For many students it’s their first time living away from home and they’re generally relaxed about security as they have a lot more going on in their lives. They don’t really think about the details such as putting the alarm on or ensuring all the windows are closed and, if they do get burgled, many students don’t know the specific details about what has been taken such as the serial numbers or product descriptions.”

Many students don’t bother getting insurance which makes burglary a big financial blow and could affect their chances of continuing their studies.

“What makes it worse is that people who are broken into once are more likely to get targeted again because burglars are familiar with the house and the type of contents in there.”

According the MET Police most burglaries tend to be opportunistic, rather than planned.

“Burglars usually choose houses that have little or no visible security. So if your home does not look secure, seems unlived in, or provides unobserved access, it could be at risk. Understanding what burglars look for when choosing their target will help you identify weak spots in your home’s security.”

What advice would you give to students who are moving into a new home?

“Identify your belongings by writing down serial numbers and descriptions for all your valuables. SmartWater your valuables (which you can do for free) and take photos of your room so you can identify what has been taken if there is a burglary.

"Make sure you get to know your housemates; thieves take advantage of the fact people don’t know each other, especially in large accommodation blocks. For those living in houses, it’s a good idea to get a neighbourhood watch sticker as it deters burglars. Ask the landlord to fit a second BS (British Standard) Approved lock to the front and back doors and always ensure your individual rooms are locked.

“Finally it’s important that students try and look after the appearance of their property, I could look at a street and immediately tell you the type of people that lived at each address, whether they were professionals, students or an elderly couple, which could make you an easy target.”

*Burglary statistics source: Home Office, Student stats provided by

The Safe Shop has created an infographic to show you how to keep your house safe. View it here.

Articles: 29
Reads: 103426
© 2020 is a website of Studee Limited | 15 The Woolmarket, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2PR, UK | registered in England No 6842641 VAT # 971692974