16 police officers from Southampton Central, Bitterne and Portswood took part in the operation on Tuesday, and visited 27 student roads including Alma Road, Tennyson Road and Sirdar Road.
The Blue Lamp Trust, through the Bobby’s Scheme, visited over 1000 student properties to provide advice, urging students to close and lock doors and windows and take valuables home with them.
The scheme is part of a force-wide initiative named Operation Nemesis, which aims to make homes in Southampton safe and secure. Speaking to the Wessex Scene, Hampshire Constabulary told us: “These very simple actions could genuinely make the difference between coming back in January to the same room you left, and coming back to find your possessions have been stolen.”
During the operation 12 properties were found to be insecure and will receive a follow up visit. The officers also found a large number of sheds insecure where bikes could have easily been stolen. Due to an increase in bike thefts, police advised students that bikes should be locked within the sheds with a D lock.
A large billboard advert was used on Portswood Road, next to the Hobbit pub, to remind residents in the area to secure their homes, and officers have been out on patrol sending advice in the form of Christmas cards to properties they think could be better protected.
Inspector Mark Lewis, who works in the student populated areas of Portswood, said:
“We know that having a few weeks off is exciting and people can’t wait to get back to their friends and family, and we want them to enjoy themselves without running the risk of having their rooms broken into. Many are very security conscious but there are still incidents reported to us quite regularly so we’re doing all we can to help students protect their homes and their possessions.”
Contact The Blue Lamp Trust on 02392 899056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.bluelamptrust.org.uk.
You can get regular updates and crime prevention advice from Inspector Lewis and other local officers by following @Unicopssoton on Twitter. To speak to an officer or report anyone suspicious in your area, call 101.