As a new university year gets under way, local police are partnering with the University of Ulster at Jordanstown to help students keep themselves and their property safe.
Temporary Chief Inspector Derek McCamley explains "We recognise that for some students this is first time they've lived away from home and the first time they've been solely responsible for their own welfare and safety. This is a big responsibility and it is important that they be made aware that help and advice is out there, and that there are steps they can take to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to crime.
Over coming weeks local officers, who form part of what we call the University Sector Neighbourhood Team, will be increasing foot patrols within the University itself. They will be conducting high visibility patrols and will be available to any student who wants to stop for a chat or even go for a coffee.
The same officers will also be hosting regular 'surgeries' along with the local crime prevention officer. Here they will give advice on everything from property marking to anti-social behaviour to keeping yourself safe on a night out. I would encourage the students at the University, even if you are not a fresher, to take the opportunity to listen to the advice on offer and actually get to know your Neighbourhood officers."
The aim is to strengthen the links between students, the University and the PSNI for the benefit of all, said Dr John Topping, Lecturer in Criminology at the Jordanstown campus.
”The presence of the PSNI on campus through a police surgery is a great step forward as part of the ever normalising policing environment in the country. The surgery will provide students, staff and the local community with a direct link to local PSNI officers across a range of issues important to them.
"The School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy work with a range of statutory providers in the criminal justice sector and we fully support the scheme and hope that as the surgery develops, it will open up new avenues and relations between the student body and the police.
"In short, this is another step in the right direction for policing in Northern Ireland in terms of contributing to a safer and shared society.
CAPTION: Community Officers Amanda McGuile and Gareth Orr chat with UUSU Site VP Emma Thompson and Overall President Clare Flanagan during a visit to the Jordanstown campus this week.