Don’t make me a target yellow doors

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Lancaster has a reputation for being the safest student city in the UK. It seems to provide the perfect campus environment setting for the first year and, having moved out in the second, a reasonable place to live while renting a student house. Since coming here for the most part in my experience it has lived up to its expectations. Having heard horror stories from friends studying in Manchester and Nottingham about experiences within their groups of friends of burglary and violence I feel it is worth the compromise on night life and variety in such a small city for the assurance that my possessions are most likely to be where I left them. I have a cousin studying in London who has been mugged three times during her first year just travelling from university to her halls. So students at Lancaster really are quite lucky comparatively where security is concerned.

Despite this, however, there have been incidents recently of burglary in student residences. And it surprises me that they have not been more frequent. Whilst the modern en-suite accommodation on campus is more difficult to break into, with swipe keys to enter each building and locked flats and rooms, standard rooms, at least in my college, seem to be very poorly secured. In my friends flat you were simply able to stroll into their building and then into their kitchen and with the number of gadgets around it’s amazing things are not taken all that often.

Student housing in town is not much better. It has always seemed bizarre to me that the biggest student housing company in Lancaster blatantly advertises who its residences are by marking them out with bright yellow front doors. Knowing that students generally all leave during the Christmas and Easter breaks, it is astonishing to me that the rate of burglary is not higher- it’s like leaving a big sign on your front door saying this house is empty and probably full of valuable items. Even living in a privately rented house has some problems, with considerably dodgy door locks and a landlord who was less than obliging about sorting the problem when we raised it until the council became involved.

So while on the whole students in Lancaster are secure, there are some issues that could be addressed. Hopefully refurbishments on campus should improve security. But on the whole, whilst we cannot stop people from breaking locks and entering, it is up to us to not make an easier job of it for burglars

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4 Comments

  1. I think some students need to get over their paranoia! I have lived with Yellow Doors for two years now and feel perfectly safe. You only need to look at the statistics for Lancaster to see how low the crime rates are. My parents live near Manchester and to insure my car at my Lancaster address it works out £200 cheaper!!
    All the student houses are highlighted by the many signs landlords put up to advertise including LUSU. My friend who also lives in a Yellow door house was a little worried about security when they moved in and the landlord put an extra door with another lock on for them.
    With regards to the houses being empty over easter and christmas, I don’t know anyone with any sense who goes home and leaves all their valuables in the house anyway. I mean surely you use your laptop/ipod/etc. at home unless your lucky enough to have 2 of everything! I am pretty sure any one interested in robbing the house is going to realise that as well.
    Some people need to spend a little more time doing their research.

  2. Don’t really take your laptop to sugar though do you?

  3. That wasn’t my point, in the article she expresses her concern of the house being left empty over Easter and Christmas and apparently with this knowledge burglars would target student houses. The smallest bit of research just highlights that these concerns are based more on student paranoia, as the crime statistics for burglary are extremely low. Yet considering the statistics for antisocial behavior, I think some students need to be a bit more worried about their safety when they go out and drink to excess so much so that their inhibitions go out the window, rather then worrying about leaving their laptops home alone in the evening!

  4. The article actually states that Lancaster is a very safe student city, and acknowledges that crime rates are quite low, particularly compared to places like Lancaster. While I would agree that most people do take home their laptops and ipods over the holidays, other valuable items are not. I do not know anyone living in town who does not have at least one television- usually in their living room, and no one would consider trying to take that home on the train- and with that almost all those people also have a dvd player, and sometimes gaming consoles as well. All these things are valuable. Though I take my laptop home, I am unable to take my printer/scanner. It’s also impossible for a flatmate to take home his large music station and speakers. While we know the risks we take in leaving these, my point was largely that while the risk in Lancaster is thankfully low, marking out student houses in this way, while not a large problem, has always seemed to me to be an odd thing to do. It’s not down to paranoia, but practicality.

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