Sheffield students targeted by housing safety warnings as police take action

Students are being targeted by police with a warning over burglars as thousands look to move into new accommodation across Sheffield this month.

South Yorkshire Police says its officers are offering crime prevention advice to university students across the city, from both Sheffield’s universities, as some consider where to live for the next academic year.

Traditionally around this time of year, first year students in particular are looking to choose their first private house to rent away from halls of residence ready for their second year of study.

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Students who already live in private accommodation may also be looking for a new property for the forthcoming academic year, say officers who are behind the advice scheme.

Inspector Kevin Smith, the officer who leads the Sheffield North West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Unfortunately criminals can look to specifically target multi-occupancy properties and break into the least secure houses.

"We are offering the advice now as students consider which property to choose so they can make an informed decision to make life that bit more difficult for criminals. Please think about your property’s security as you move in.

“We will also be visiting landlords and students in the coming weeks to discuss their current household security and to offer help and advice for the year ahead."

Advice which is being offered by officers includes:

> Sheffield City Council has an approved property scheme called SNUG which is awarded when homes meet the required standard of property and tenancy management and the landlord is considered ‘fit and proper.’ When deciding on which property to rent, check if the landlord is SNUG approved (both universities have a search option on their websites where you can check).

> Check if the road of a property you are considering moving into has high crime rates - see https://www.police.uk

> Prolific, opportunistic burglars will try doors and look for open windows and will keep an eye on properties, especially those belonging to large groups as the chance of a door being left unlocked is higher. Does the house you are looking at have solid and secure locks and window frames?