Student helps set up burglary campaign
note-0A Sheffield university student has put together a prevention campaign to tackle burglary among students in the city as universities open their doors for a new semester.
Sheffield Hallam University student Lucy Ferguson-Smith said the campaign was launched in collaboration with South Yorkshire Police and both Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield.
The 21-year-old sociology student, who is the first ever Neighbourhood Policing Intern, said many students have been affected by burglary and a campaign needs to be in place as a way to raise awareness.
“I came as a student on placement to South Yorkshire Police and was offered a chance to put together a campaign around problem solving.
“A lot of my friends have been burgled and I saw student burglary as a significant problem within Sheffield.
“So we came up with the simple steps of ‘Secure it. Conceal it. Remove it. Or Lose it,” she said.
She said the campaign will mainly focus on educating students on crime prevention although she acknowledged that getting the students involved would be a challenging task.
“We want students to learn that simply locking your door can stop a crime from happening. Covering your windows, closing curtains and removing valuables is all very important.
“I think it is quite challenging to get students on board, but we have come up with a bright, bold campaign with real key messages that we hope students can get involved with and that can really engage with students.
Inspector John Mellows from the Sheffield Central and North West Neighbourhood Team said this was the first time that the South Yorkshire Police have delivered a targeted campaign at students.
“We have previously done a general campaign but now that we have the student intern this year, we have this narrative to sell that student’s voice in terms of vulnerability,” he said.
He said there would be a spike in crimes particularly this time of the year when the students are back from the summer break and the new semester opens.
“The purpose of this campaign is to highlight their vulnerabilities and to make them aware of the steps they can take to prevent becoming a victim of crime, which has an impact on us as well as we try to reduce the burglaries,” he said.
He said the ongoing campaign will be published across social media platforms of both Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield.
Sheffield Hallam University Group Director, Students and Academic Services Joe Rennie said the campaign would raise awareness among the students, who could be targeted by criminal activities.
“The moment the students can look out for one another, keep one another safe and informed, that’s a good thing too,” he said.
For student Sayoni Ranawat, 21, the campaign would definitely help her and other international students who are more vulnerable to becoming victims of crime.
“I think it is really important because as international students we are not aware of what is happening
here. Campaigns like this would really help us understand what is going on,” she said.