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Student-related crime figures: where does Cardiff stand?

Police officer by car on radio - Source: Flickr - West Midlands Police - Creative-Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 GenericCardiff Metropolitan University and Cardiff University have been branded "the worst in Wales" for student related crime. The Complete University Guide has published student crime statistics showing the rates of student-related crimes at universities in England and Wales. However, crime rates around Welsh universities are lower overall than England, and are half of the rates for London.

The figures

The Complete University Guide looked at burglaries, robberies and violent crime taking place within a three mile radius of different universities. Cardiff Metropolitan University recorded 2.24 crimes per thousand residents, and Cardiff University recorded 2.23 per thousand. This was 16th and 17th for universities across England and Wales, not including London institutions, where crime figures are, unsurprisingly, mostly much higher.

A bit of context

“Worst in Wales” is perhaps a bit misleading, since most of Wales is very rural, and even university towns such as Aberystwyth and Bangor are very small, with low crime rates to match. Somewhere like Lampeter is not going to see high rates of crime (except maybe sheep rustling!)

The student-related crime rate around Cardiff universities is similar to that of large towns and small cities such as Northampton or Southampton with populations of around 200,000, despite the city of Cardiff being half as big again at 300,000.

Cardiff is a very safe city overall, but like any city, crime is a problem and you need to be careful. Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan (UWIC) have relatively more burglaries, but fewer robberies or violent crimes take place within a three-mile radius than other similarly placed universities.

Preventing burglaries

Burglars see student accommodation as providing rich pickings, since students usually each have their own computer, phone and other gadgets, such as iPods and games consoles. More than half of student homes in Cardiff targeted by burglars had been left unlocked, according to the police.

There are steps that you can take to protect yourself from burglaries. Make sure that the house is secure, with doors and windows locked. Do not leave windows open, especially in the ground floor, if you are out of the room – it only takes a moment for someone to reach in and grab a laptop. Be especially careful when moving in or out of student accommodation not to leave your stuff unattended or doors open as you move your possessions. Try to avoid making it obvious that no-one is home during the holidays if you have valuables there.

Recovering stolen items

As well as taking steps to prevent burglaries in the first place, you can also follow ways of identifying your goods to make it more likely you’ll get them back if they are recovered by the police. Keep a record of serial numbers and phone IMEI code so you are able to identify what’s yours. Register your items to services such as Immobilise, the UK national property register, to increase your chances of getting your property back.

So don't be alarmed - just be aware and take sensible precautions! With appropriate steps you can make crime even less likely to happen to you.

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