A CONVICTED burglar has called students ‘ridiculously easy’ targets.
Peter Findlay has now become a poacher turned gamekeeper and is working with police to try and prevent students falling victim to thieves.
Findlay, 33, who has served four years in prison for burglary is now working with West Yorkshire Probation and West Yorkshire Police in an awareness campaign.
He claims to have turned his life around and has agreed to take part in a short video giving students advice about securing new laptops, iPods and other expensive equipment.
Chief Supt Simon Willsher, head of the West Yorkshire Force’s Local Policing Support Department, said: “Every year people’s homes are targeted by burglars who are on the lookout for Christmas gifts and sale bargains.
“Some simple steps to keep expensive items out of sight and prevent easy access to your home will deter criminals. We also encourage neighbours to look out for and report suspicious activity.
“This latest video provides a first hand account of what burglars look for and why students in particular are so susceptible to becoming a burglary victim.
“It is important to listen to and take note of what Peter is saying. He knows as well as anyone about what a burglar looks for.
“I encourage everyone to watch this brief video and not let a burglar ruin your new year.”
In the video, Peter explains how student homes in particular can be easy to break into thanks to unlocked or poorly maintained doors and windows and expensive equipment being left on display.
Students tend to have equipment such as laptops, computers, mobile phones and games consoles in their rooms and halls of residence.
West Yorkshire Police is seeing a reduction in burglaries with 485 fewer burglaries in November 2011 compared to the same month in the previous year. However, January traditionally sees a rise in the number of reports.
Additional measures to improve home safety are being promoted by West Yorkshire Police including sash jammers which can be installed on doors and windows to make them more secure.
The force is also keen for people to take note of these simple crime prevention tips:
Lock all of your doors and windows even when you’re in.
Remove keys from all locks.
Property-mark all of your expensive items using a UV pen.
Keep your belongings hidden in a safe and secure place. Do not leave them on show.
The video can be viewed on the Examiner website at: www.examiner.co.uk/