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Students, stay safe! Bedfordshire Police issues crime prevention advice during Freshers’ Week

22 Sep 2017

Officers will have a visible presence in the student hotspots of Bedford and Luton during the University of Bedfordshire’s Freshers’ Fairs and the multitude of night-time activities planned for new and returning academics.

The university’s Freshers’ Week kicks off this Saturday (23 September) and runs until Sunday 1 October.

Additional patrols will be held to police the night-time economy in key nightspot areas for students and licensing officers will be working closely with pub and club venues and taxi companies to help protect people and ensure they get home safely.

Students are encouraged to approach officers for help and advice, and to follow @bedspolice, @uniofbeds and the hashtag #FreshBeds17 for daily tips and helpful messages.

University Liaison Officer PC Craig Pearce said: “We recognise that moving to a new area and starting a new chapter of life can be daunting, so as police it is our role to protect the influx of students to Bedfordshire and ensure they are equipped with the relevant safety and crime prevention advice to stay safe and well.

“We’ll be taking this opportunity to provide advice around key crime areas such as burglary, rape and sexual assault, domestic abuse, violence and the issue of consent – and are also keen to remind students to take care, drink sensibly and look out for new friends.”

Ruki Heritage, Assistant Director Student Experience and Head of Student Services at the University of Bedfordshire, added: “Freshers’ Week is a great way to start university life, with plenty of opportunities to get involved and try out new things.

“At all times I would urge our students to make safety a priority and to follow the advice issued by Bedfordshire Police.

“In addition, support and guidance is available on campus from the University’s Student Support team, while Beds SU run a Freshers’ Angels scheme, where returning students volunteer to help greet new students and settle them in.

“To recognise a Freshers’ Angel, simply look out for students wearing orange t-shirts and feathered wings.”

Bedfordshire Police and the University of Bedfordshire are proud to work in partnership and will be sharing messages throughout the Freshers’ period.

Student safety - Have fun while staying safe

To help ensure you remain safe as you begin a new term at university, please take note of the following advice:

  • Try to avoid walking home alone at night. Wherever possible, use public transport and travel with friends. Never accept a lift from someone you don't know.
  • Don't walk along talking on your mobile phone. You may not be fully aware of what is going on around you.
  • When going out, only take with you the money you need for the night, and keep your wallet or purse somewhere safe.
  • Never share access codes with anyone who is not a resident of your house, flat or halls of residence.
  • Always lock doors and windows before you leave your halls or student house, and leave valuables well out of sight.
  • Don't accept drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.
  • Remember that if someone is incapacitated due to drink or drugs, they are not capable of consenting to sexual activity. If you pursue it, you are committing a crime. 
  • Seek advice and report incidents of domestic abuse to police if you feel you are being degraded, humiliated, belittled or mentally, physically or verbally abused by a partner while at university. 
  • If you feel at risk from radicalisation or know of someone who may be vulnerable to becoming involved in extremism or terrorism, seek advice from Let’s Talk About itYou can follow PC Craig Pearce, Bedfordshire Police University Liaison Officer, on Twitter @BedsUniLiaison for regular updates and safety messages

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