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Thousands of new students arriving in Bradford are being given their first lesson in safety.
Neighbourhood Police, University of Bradford and Bradford College are working together to ensure Freshers remain crime-free during their time in the city. Police officers will be visiting campus providing a range of practical help and advice to new arrivals over designated stalls.
Bradford College, Head of Security Mark Hirst said: “Following work with the Neighbourhood Policing Team, local businesses and retailers to address instances of anti social behaviour and various issues around campus, we have experienced a reduction in reported problems.
We continue to work with our partners to make a positive impact.”
Freshers receive bags containing crime prevention tips, safety information and property marking pens.
City Ward Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Kevin Pickles said:
“During Fresher’s Week we will be speaking face to face with the new students, answering any questions they may have and providing them with useful tips.
“We want students coming to Bradford to enjoy their time in the city and to start as they mean to go on. By taking just a few simple steps, they can avoid becoming victims of crime and get on with making the most of what should be an exciting time for them.
“By making the students security aware, we can prevent them from becoming easy targets for opportunist criminals. It’s likely that many of them will be bringing high value items such as laptop computers, MP3 players, mobile phones and other items that are attractive to thieves. By using their common sense and following our advice they can dramatically cut their chances of being a victim.
“Our messages will include not making their accommodation a shop window for thieves by leaving items on display and locking doors or windows in their property.
“Students will also be keen to take advantage of the vibrant nightlife that the city has to offer and by listening to our advice they can keep themselves safe. Under ‘Operation Northdale’, Neighbourhood Officers will be visiting the pubs and clubs in Bradford throughout Fresher’s week and equipping the students with the knowledge they need to stay safe.
“We will be telling them to have fun, but know their limits, stay with friends and think about safe transport home. Anti-drink spiking devices and other products carrying safety messages will be handed out.
“Street safety is also important, for instance, advertising the fact you have a valuable item such as a mobile phone could attract the wrong kind of attention.
“One of the things we will be highlighting to the Freshers is our ongoing ‘Safe Spot’ campaign. Businesses who signed up to the scheme show their membership by displaying the ‘Safe Spot’ sticker in their window.
“These allow any students who may need assistance, whether it’s advice or are simply lost in their new surroundings, to use them as a safe haven where they can call the police or even a friend.
“Students will also be interested in the Facebook and Twitter site of the City Ward Neighbourhood Policing Team. Here they’ll be able to find out about all the work their local officers are doing to keep them safe.”