Off-campus accomodation sees increase in theft

Photo credit: Jen Waller

Photo credit: Jen Waller

University of York students have been warned about the need to keep their homes secure, after it emerged there had been an increase in burglaries and thefts from off-campus student accommodation.

Second and third year students living in rented housing have been affected by an increase in crime in Heslington and Fishergate over the last few months.

There have been eight reported thefts in the Heslington area and nine in Fishergate since the beginning of the University term in October.

Most of these have involved bicycles stolen from their accommodation.

University students have been warned by Chief Inspector Dave Hannan, of York Safer Neighbourhood Command to avoid leaving doors, windows and gates open as this can provide a clear opportunity for criminals.

Inspector Hannan commented: “Thieves are lazy and opportunistic, they like an easy ride. If you make life difficult for them they are much less likely to target your home and belongings.

“If a thief sees an opportunity he will be in, so make sure you do everything you can to secure your property. Ensure the last one out locks the door; keep laptops, phones and MP3 players hidden from view and leave a light on when you go out at night.”

In response to the rise in thefts North Yorkshire Police have stepped up their efforts to prevent crime with officers carrying out high visibility patrols at night.

In addition to this letters have been sent out to properties in the affected areas urging York students to protect their homes and belongings.

First year students have also been affected by thieves and Halifax College has become a target. Over the last two weeks youths have been spotted on several occasions trying to steal bikes and at least one bike has been taken.

A spokesperson for the University reiterated the advice of North Yorkshire Police, saying: “Students should always leave their unattended property secure. In relation to cycles it is advisable to use good quality locks when securing them.”

Despite the recent increase in burglaries, overall crime in the Heslington area has dropped by 50 per cent compared to this time last year, with theft down 64 per cent. Fishergate also experienced a drop in crime of 16 per cent, with theft down by four per cent.

One comment

  1. I had 2 high value bikes (£000s each) stolen from a locked shed in the Tang Hall area. They broke in 2 doors along, through a wooden side gate, where my and direct neighbours side gates are metal, garden hopped and then broke open the shed door then back the same way they came. They also tried to brake into the house but were unsuccessful.

    It is obvious that they know what they are going for and seems to be the same people, speaking with other bike theft victims and the local people.

    Also it seems that the way that they get the bikes is by following people back to their homes. Be aware of this as when they hit us they had a very small time frame between my flat mate getting home and myself leaving for work.

    Feel free to look me up on fb and have a look at the photos of the bikes, if you seem them report it to the police and you will get the reward.