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This short section is intended as a guide for students attending university for the first time. You'll find lots more information to hand from your university and the students union when you get there.
Students' risk factors
Young people are more at risk of experiencing certain crimes than older members of our communinty for a number of reasons. I was young once and I believe most of this boils down to a lack of life experience (quickly gained in the first year away from home), a healthy carefree attitude and desire to have fun (and why not!) and, if you're not living in halls, a lack of decent physical security in your rented accomodation.
The following risk factors for full time students are highlighted in the British Crime Survey's 'Crime in England and Wales 2008/09' (the risk factors are very similar for 2013/14 when this page was written):
Risk of experiencing a burglary = 2.68 times higher than average
Average risk 2.5% Full time students 6.7%
Most of this higher risk will be due to lower levels of home security in rented accommodation and having to rely on several housemates for each others' security
Risk of experiencing a vehicle crime = 1.47 times higher than average
Average risk 6.4% Full time students 9.4%
Students tend to own older cars, some of which won't have immobilisers and alarms and are therefore easier to steal and steal from
Risk of experiencing a violent crime = 2.69 times higher than average
Average risk 3.2% Full time students 8.6%
Young males aged between 16 to 24 are the group that experience the greatest number of assaults with a risk factor of 13.2%. Much of this is connected with alcohol and is supported by the fact that the risk factor for those who visit nightclubs and discos more than once a week is 12.4%
Risk of experiencing a theft from the person = 2.87 times higher than average
Average risk 1.5% Full time students 4.3%
Much of this is due to carelessness and being off guard; something that young people are more inclined to be. But that's not your fault, that's just how things are when you're young!
You must understand that these are all average risks and must be treated with caution. Your risks could be higher or lower. For example, where you live during your student life plays a very important role, because all crime is geographically concentrated to a greater or lesser extent. In the case of robbery, which is the most geographically concentrated of crimes, about 60% occur in Greater Manchester, The West Midlands and London
The other thing you have to note is that you can easily reduce your own personal risks by following the advice on this website. Be aware of what's going on around you at all times, plan your day and think ahead, stay in control
Check your burglary risks online
In 2017 Money Supermarket .com launched a useful application aimed at university students to help them quickly check the chances of burglary in the vicinity of their university campus. I suspect the data used has come from the Police.uk website, but I like the way they have presented it. All you have to do is select the university campus from the list and optionally add your postcode. You’ll be presented with a map, shaded according to burglary risk, and a risk factor for your selected postcode.
I would be surprised if the burglary risk factor would affect your choice of university, but it is useful to know about your risks so that you are well prepared.
Updated September 2017