The London Police Service says there has been a decrease in break and enters around student housing areas nearby Western University and Fanshawe College campuses. There were no reported cases between December 17 and January 3 of 2015, compared to 25 in 2012 around the same time.
Police credit the University Students’ Council’s “Lock Your Doors” campaign as the reason for the success. Constable Sandasha Bough says there’s usually an increase in break and enters over the December break.
“We’re constantly monitoring those areas to make sure we don’t have any further break ins,” she says.
The “Lock Your Doors” campaign was first launched after Police told the USC about this issue.
“Some of these students are coming from living at home, where their parents handled home security,” says Kevin Hurren, VP Communications for the USC, “The main goal of the campaign is to now remind them that they are responsible for that job.”
Hurren says he hasn’t experienced a break and enter himself, but he became more aware of break and enter prevention after the campaign began.
“We heard from a lot of students who said, ‘yes, this happened to me, this was a real issue. Someone just walked into my house and took my laptop with all of my essays on it,'” he said, “We really don’t want to see that kind of thing happening to students, especially when it is something like a laptop, which stores a lot of academic information or personal assignments.”
Although the matter is handled by London Police, Western Campus Police Sargent Ryan Austin has prevention tips for students, such as telling their neighbors they will be away from home, using timer lights that stay on during certain times of the day and using motion lights outside.
“If they’re leaving for March break or Christmas Break, to make sure that they clean up their garbage cans and things like that, so their house doesn’t look like maybe it’s a student house that people are going to be away.”
Constable Bough also suggests to never reveal on social media when you will be away from your home, and to only upload pictures of where you were once you’re home. Hurren says to have your neighbours shovel snow while you’re gone, to make it seem like someone’s home, and to take down any Western posters from your windows.