Northumbria Police have taken a novel approach to issuing safety advice to new students eager to begin their busy new social lives.
Officers have been attending freshers fayres at both Newcastle and Sunderland Universities this week to meet with first-year students and hand out specially designed greetings cards which reinforce the importance of staying safe during and after a heavy night on the tiles.
The quirky cards provide students with simple, easy to digest information about responsible drinking, the dangers of spiking and how to protect their new homes from opportunistic burglars.
Scott Hall Chief Superintendent for Safeguarding said: “We know that all across our force area there are new students desperate to get out and take full advantage of freshers week.
“For many, this will be the first time they have lived away from home and we want to make sure that they enjoy the best of what our area has to offer, while staying safe and drinking responsibly.
“We would ask that when you are out, make sure you stay with friends and look out for each other. Just use the common sense approach, if you think someone has had too much to drink, look after them and help them get home. If you feel like you need to go home, ask a friend to go with you.
“Make sure you always have your keys, money, phone and a plan to get home. That way, you can enjoy the best nightlife we have to offer, without an extra headache the day after.”
Officers are also urging students to keep their homes and vehicles safe from thieves, reminding them to keep valuables out of sight and to lock their doors and windows overnight.
Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, who will be delivering crime prevention advice to freshers at Sunderland University later this week, added: “It’s great to welcome new students to the city ahead of what should be an exciting first year at university.
“The North-east is a safe place to live and socialise, but we would always ask students to remain vigilant and take a few simple steps to stay safe and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.
“Do not leave your doors and windows open, and make sure any valuables are kept out of sight both in your house and in vehicles. As the nights grow darker, opportunistic burglars will look to profit under the cover of darkness – so do not make yourself an easy target.
“If you are heading for a night out, make sure you have planned how you’re going to get home – and remember to keep your keys, money and phone safe.
“Anybody with any concerns or for more crime prevention advice is encouraged to speak to officers at the Freshers’ Fayres being held at Newcastle University and Sunderland University this week.”