'We want freshers to study in safety'
Police have launched a campaign to ensure newly arriving students have a safe stay in Leicestershire.
Officers in Loughborough have worked with the university and Charnwood Borough Council to provide a crime prevention guide to be distributed to thousands of students.
The campaign, Operation Umbel, includes tips on home security and personal safety.
It will also underline the importance of students acting as responsible neighbours.
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Similar efforts are also under way at Leicester's two universities.
Officers will also be patrolling student areas looking for homes where people have gone out, leaving their windows open.
They will place a hand-shaped leaflet through the open windows to illustrate how easily a burglar could have got inside.
Pc Suzie Jackson, whose beat covers the Loughborough campus, said: "When young people leave home for the first time, we know crime prevention is not at the forefront of their minds.
"We also know students who live in multi-occupancy houses can fall victim to crime because everyone assumes someone else will lock the windows and doors.
"Students living in halls of residence, particularly those on the ground floor, can also become victims of crime if they leave their windows open.
"We want to remind students to take a few easy steps to take care of their property to ensure they have a happy time living and studying in the town."
In the next few weeks police officers, council officials and university staff will visit student neighbourhoods to deliver the messages in person.
Stuart Christie, head of security at the university, said: "Loughborough University and our police beat team have been working very closely on a programme to assist freshers with settling down at university and considering the safety of themselves and their possessions.
"Additionally, we emphasise that they should always consider how their actions could impact on their neighbours and the local community."
Councillor David Snartt, chairman of Charnwood Community Safety Partnership, said: "Students are part of the lifeblood of Charnwood and the council and its partners want to make sure they feel welcome, safe and comfortable."
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