Well, the cold white stuff has finally arrived. My late Grandfather (he’s dead God Bless him, and was certainly not a poor timekeeper) used to always say ‘Get February out of the way’ before we can think of better weather. February is often a rather ‘dodgy’ month, confirmed I’m sure by the fact it doesn’t even know whether to have 28 days or 29!! I know it seems as if we get all the seasons in one day now, and this month may not see the end of our winter, but at least hopefully I can look forward to some quality sledging over the coming weeks.
I was very interested to read Elin and Isabel’s article regarding whether our beautiful Durham is safe or not. I would say, both from a professional and personal point of view, that we do indeed live in a very safe city. Just like any other city, we do sometimes come across mindless idiots whose actions are not always just, and – as I tell all students – we still need to use our common sense and must not become complacent about matters relating to our personal safety or that of our belongings. Dark winter nights can often leave houses vulnerable to burglars.
Durham, like other cities, does still have criminals, and students can often be seen as easy targets for crime.. This can be because they normally have the items that thieves want to steal and sometimes they can make it too easy to steal them. There have been several burglaries to student rooms over the last month, both in college and to livers out properties. The main modus operandi has again been through unlocked doors or open windows, so we must try to ensure we keep doors and windows locked and valuables out of sight. Again, it is true that very few students are victims of crime while at Durham University, but we must try to avoid the ‘needless’ crimes by being more aware of crime prevention.
- LOCK DOORS AND WINDOWS
- DON’T LEAVE VALUABLES UNATTENDED
- REMOVE VALUABLES FROM SIGHT
- DON’T LEAVE ITEMS ON WINDOW LEDGES OR WITHIN ARMS REACH OF WINDOWS
- MARK PROPERTY WITH A UV PEN
- USE TIMER SWITCHES TO GIVE THE APPEARANCE THAT THE HOUSE IS OCCUPIED
- CLOSE CURTAINS AT NIGHT
Bikes are still being targeted around the city, so please try not to leave them in poorly lit, isolated areas with poor quality locks.
- GET BIKE SECURITY MARKED
- USE A GOOD QUALITY D-LOCK
- REMOVE SEAT IF POSSIBLE WHEN NOT USING
- REMOVE COMPUTERS/OTHER VALUABLES
- SECURE IN WELL-LIT DESGNATED BIKE AREA
I believe that Durham is safe, and we are working together each day to make it still safer, both by the Police arresting offenders and by students protecting themselves against crime.
StudentWatch schemes are being introduced around the city to help the student population protect themselves against crime. Several volunteers have been identified to be co-ordinators for the schemes. These co-ordinators will help pass on important information to their ‘members’ in neighbouring houses, as well as helping to identify potentially vulnerable premises. If anyone wants to be a StudentWatch co-ordinator, please let me know.
The Thin Blue Line Update
On a lighter note, my first weigh-in takes place on Thursday and I will update you on Facebook with the total loss. Hopefully I won’t need to cut off any body parts yet to make a good loss. Sponsor forms will be circulated around colleges this week and the online giving option should be up and running soon, so please give generously. I’ll get some photos put onto Twitter and Facebook to let you know how it’s all going.
Please follow my efforts on facebook and twitter and let me know what you think.
Lock up, stay safe and let us forecast a wonderful crime free February in our beautiful city.