7 July 2017 • LSVb
Break-ins in student residences during the summer: a big problem
Break-ins in student residences just before and during the summer are a major problem. This was reported by both the Dutch National Student Union (LSVb) and the Dutch Centre for Crime Prevention and Safety (CCV). Hundreds of break-in cases involving student residences occur every year. Yet these could easily be prevented by taking simple precautions.
According to these two organisations, the problem could be prevented if students were more aware of the risks. This is why they just launched an information campaign. Tariq Sewbaransingh, Chairman of the LSVb: ‘Many students leave their doors and windows open, especially in the summer. That makes it easy for burglars. Our campaign is intended to inform students thoroughly about this.’
National kick-off in Groningen
The kick-off of the campaign was held at noon on Wednesday, 5 July with a tongue-in-cheek demonstration in the centre of Groningen. At a set-up on the city’s main square, students were given an opportunity to break in themselves. This way, they could see how easy it is to do. After all, burglars need only 30 seconds to break in. In addition to the national launch in Groningen, posters and cards were distributed and local demonstrations were held in other university towns: Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht and Zwolle. Students were also made aware of the campaign via social media. By these various means, the LSVb and the CCV are raising awareness among students that leaving a door or window open – even for a few minutes – can result in a break-in.
Last year, local student unions (VIDIUS in Utrecht and ASVA in Amsterdam) set up hotlines because of the big problems at student housing complexes in their cities. This led the LSVb to request crime figures from the police. Reports coming in from the hotlines were also recorded. These figures showed a wave of break-ins in student housing complexes, especially during the summer. Student residences in Leiden were once again the targets of more break-ins in recent weeks. With this campaign, the student unions and the CCV hope to prevent such a flood of break-ins this summer. The campaign is also being supported by the municipal authorities, district police officers and local police teams in various university towns such as Groningen, Zwolle and Leiden.