Lock flats ‘simplest safety message’

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Lock your flats.

That is the “simplest safety message” to University of Otago students, university proctor Dave Scott says.

“If students did this one simple task they would be much less likely to be a victim of property theft,” Mr Scott said.

During the summer holidays while students have been away from university, Campus Watch staff have been checking flats daily to ensure they are secure and for any signs of damage or break-ins.

Students registered their flats for the free service before they vacated them last year.

In total, 84 flats from various North Dunedin streets signed up.

Mr Scott said 845 security checks had been carried out since the end of the second semester. During that time, the Campus Watch team discovered two properties had been burgled and reported the break-ins to the police.

North Dunedin was often targeted by thieves looking for flats with relaxed security, he said.

“Deterring them can be as simple as making sure the last person to leave the house locks the door.

“Don’t make yourself an easy target – lock your doors.”

Campus Watch has free UV pens available for students to mark their valuables if required.