Take pride in your area and stop the burglars
Stickers, badges and bags emblazoned with "I love Clarendon Park" could become a familiar sight thanks to a campaign to make students proud of the area.
The University of Leicester launched the campaign yesterday in Victoria Park to strengthen relationships between residents and students, cut anti-social behaviour and prevent burglaries.
Students were given the goodies to encourage them to take pride in where they live.
They were also asked to spruce up their homes to make them less of a target for burglars.
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Craig Howlett, welfare officer for the university, said: "We know students can be a target for burglars, but if their homes appear more attractive and in keeping with the area, it could put burglars off.
"We're also encouraging students to get to know their neighbours so that they watch out for one another and to get involved in what's happening around them.
"Noise can be an issue for some residents living near students, so we want them to think about ways of minimising it.
"We act swiftly if residents raise a problem with us but often there are simple solutions such as not banging gates loudly on the way in and out of homes and organising parties when neighbours are away or after giving them prior notice.
"We'll be visiting students in their homes to talk to them about what they can do to stay safe and cut down on noise."
Prizes including meal vouchers and iPods will be given to students who take part in community events.
Tristram Miles, 22, an ancient history and archaeology student, from Queens Road, said: "It's a lovely idea and it makes things a bit friendlier.
"I see the logic of it stopping crime but I think the stacks of wine bottles in some windows might give it away that students live there."
Tom Hands, 21, a physics student from Queens Road, said: "Student houses probably do get targeted more and students do tend to leave laptops and things lying around.
"Clarendon Park is pretty crime-free anyway but it's a great idea."
Volunteer Lucy Tillett, 21, was helping to hand out free plant bulbs to encourage students to make their gardens more attractive.
She lived in Clarendon Park last term and said: "Our property was a bit of a mess and a lot of my friends got burgled last year.
"Now students can have some pride in their houses because they'll have something to look after and it helps to brighten up the community as well."
Irfan Malik, 40, said: "Most of the students here are well-behaved but it would be good to get more involvement between them and local residents."
Pcs Harvey Watson and Emma Jayne patrol Clarendon Park and are supporting the scheme.
Pc Watson said: "By working together we can reduce crime and the fear of crime."