University students’ safety in hands of Crimestoppers

House of Lords meeting details the new Crimestoppers initiative to help keep university students out of danger

Representatives from the charity Crimestoppers and the education sector gathered at the House of Lords recently to launch a new programme aimed at keeping university students free from crime.

SaferU, a service that will be rolled out into three universities initially – The University of Northampton, Anglia Ruskin and The University of Plymouth – aims to give crime prevention advice to students to make their stay in higher education a safe one, while also recruiting willing volunteers to help keep their fellow students safe on campus.

The House of Lords event saw speakers include Crimestoppers Founder and Chair, Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, and Martin Lawrence, Universities Ambassador for Crimestoppers, who spoke about the hopes and aspirations for the new service.

The aim, as well as providing vital crime prevention advice and materials to students at the three respective universities, is to acquire a network of young volunteers to work with Crimestoppers regional committees in tackling issues that exist in their town/city, and on their campus.

This launch follows on from successful pilot activity carried out by students at the University of Northampton that saw them run a campaign called ‘Stick it, Stole it,’ in February 2013.

The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the theft of small personal items, such as laptops and mobiles left unattended on campus.

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC told the assembled guests: “SaferU is an initiative focused on the protection of students through engagement and awareness about personal safety and crime. It engages young people on the subject of crime and encourages them to be part of the solution by developing campaigns about issues that matter to them.

Above all, it really empowers students to lead, rather than be led, and encourages a community spirit, and that’s what makes the difference.

Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, added: “The University of Northampton is proud to be leading SaferU on behalf of the sector and keen to share our positive experience with Crimestoppers more widely.”

If you are a university and are interested in joining the SaferU programme then please contact Sue Langley at Crimestoppers on sue.langley@crimestoppers-uk.org.

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