Freshers’ week has prompted an increased police presence on Durham’s streets. The local constabulary has stated that the extra patrols aim to “help university students stay safe as they arrive for the start of term”.
Officers have also created a video for welcome week offering personal safety tips to students.
More generally, students have been urged not to leave valuables on display, lock doors and windows, leave lights on when going out, and respect their new neighbours. This comes after several reports of break-ins in the Viaduct area were posted on the Overheard at Durham Facebook page.
Inspector David Turner of Durham Constabulary stated: “Whether you are a student coming to Durham for the first time or you are returning for another year, it is obviously an exciting chapter in your lives.
“Given the restrictions relating to Covid-19 last year, it is understandable you want to get out and about and meet friends.
“However, it is important that you do this safely, whether it is knowing your limits if you are out drinking, planning your route to and from home before you go out, or making sure no-one is left behind on their own.
“Durham is one of the safest cities in the country, but to many of our students it is an unfamiliar place, and we need them to remember that when they are out and about.
“Our officers will be on hand throughout Welcome and Orientation Week, and we encourage students to say hello.”
Sam Dale, Durham University’s Director of Student Support and Wellbeing, stated: “The safety of our students is of the utmost importance to us. Durham is a safe place to live, work and study and we are committed to making it safer still.
“Our key advice to students on staying safe is: if you choose to drink alcohol, please do so responsibly; always plan how you will get home before going out; take safe routes home avoiding the river, and look after your friends and stick together when walking home.
“If students have any safety concerns, they can contact their College or the Police University Liaison Team.”
Image: Newcastle Chronicle