Crime prevention for housing residence

Crime is the result of opportunity. When you reduce the opportunity for crime you reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Your personal safety and the safety of your property are the important goals of the University of Florida Police Department and the Division of Housing. You can reduce your chances of being a crime victim by practicing simple crime principles and using common sense. Here are some crime prevention tips to keep in mind if you are a resident of campus housing.

Despite sound construction, excellent physical security equipment, good maintenance, and relatively intensive security and law enforcement patrol, theft is a perennial problem in student residence halls. Analysis of crime reports has shown the majority of crimes are thefts of personal property that has been left unattended, unsecured, and unmarked.

Security in residence halls is everyone’s responsibility. Each resident has to cooperate to maintain adequate security. Every time a person props open an outside corridor door, YOUR security is affected. When your roommate, or suitemate, leaves the room or suite door open or unlocked, YOUR security is diminished.

Most students come from an environment where they were not responsible for home security. Many are not used to taking a personal role in security. Finally, many students have not been involved in a group living arrangement. The result is that they don’t realize that their actions affect not only their security, but also the security of everyone else in the residence hall.

Move-In and Move-Out are historically high-risk periods for theft because there are many people coming and going creating a degree of confusion. Property is moving in and out of the halls, is often left unattended “momentarily”. Finally the ability to distinguish those who “belong” from those who don’t is nearly nonexistent.
Periods immediately prior to school breaks are also high-risk due to individuals looking for quick cash. Beware of these and other risks inherent in the residence hall environment. Take advantage of information provided by Housing staff and the University Police in printed materials and presentations.

Here are some ways to improve residence hall security. Remember that safety and security are shared responsibilities.

* Keep doors locked at all times. Keeping your room door locked can prevent unauthorized entry of your living space.

* Never prop doors open. Exterior doors and doors to individual floors are locked for your protection. Propping them open compromises your safety and the safety of everyone in the building.

* Do not let strangers into the building or on to the floors. If someone is not personally visiting you don’t let him or her in. Criminals can look like anyone. You can’t tell a persons intentions by their looks.

* Do not keep valuables, particularly jewelry, at your campus residence. If you have family heirlooms leave them at home.

* Create a personal inventory. Record the make, model, and serial number of all valuables and keep the record in a safe place.

* Mark your property. Engrave you valuables such as computers, stereos, calculators or other big-ticket items with your social security or drivers license number. (link to op ID)

* Call the University of Florida Police Department at 329-1111 to report any suspicious persons or activities.

Learn crime prevention tips and talk them over with your roommates or neighbors. Report all crimes to the University of Florida Police Department at 392-1111 as soon as possible.

For further information on this or others safety topics please contact the University of Florida Police Department’s Community Services Division at 392-1409.