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By Laura Cullum on 17.3.2024

Balloons remind students to lock up

Police in Canterbury have joined forces with Kent Student Union as they launch their campaign to find new ways of preventing thefts by reminding students to lock all windows and doors when leaving their rooms.

Volunteers from the students’ Union have been distributing black balloons around campus bearing the message “the LOCK” along with the address for the website. Those rooms that are found to be unattended and easily accessible have been left with an inflated reminder to the inhabitant while those that were found to be secure received a deflated balloon to ensure the message is remembered. Following the link to the website students can find tips on how to keep their rooms secure and therefore prevent burglaries. Ideas include marking valuables, backing up important files and making note of serial numbers on electrical items. Police community support officer Jodie Bryan, who works at the University of Kent, as part of her Rural West ward, said: “We have been working with the students’ Union to try and come up with different ways of encouraging students to shut windows and lock their doors and communal doors. We wanted to catch their attention and thought a leaflet would probably just end up in the bin.” She, along with fellow PCSO Gary Painter, helped launch the scheme.

The target for the scheme has been first year students because it is their first year away from home and it is hoped the tips will be remembered in the future when they live in private rented accommodation in the Canterbury area. The balloons have been paid for by the Safer Canterbury District Partnership.

President of the Union, Helen Wood explained: “This is a safe campus but as summer approaches we want to get the message across about doing that extra bit and not making it easy for burglars. I am sure that a balloon will make them look and see where it has come from and, we hope, log on the website to get more information.”

For more information on the Lock scheme visit: www.kentunion.co.uk/thelock

Comments

  • All windows found insecure were put back on their safety catches.

    Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to secure the unlocked doors apart from alerting the residents that someone could get in by leaving the balloon, they are always put well inside so to see them you would have to be approaching the property anyway and as they are black they are very discrete.

    I think it’s also important to note that this campaign has the full support of the police who would not do anything to increase the risk of theft

    By Samantha Kennedy, Vice-President (Welfare) on 25.3.2024

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  • I reckon you should print ‘Rob Me’ on the balloons instead. It’s funnier.

    By Anonymous on 24.3.2024

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  • Fantastic idea! Let’s just make a criminal’s life easier by sticking balloons on all houses found unlocked.

    By Andrew Davison on 22.3.2024

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