Beds Police has issued some timely advice for new students at the start of Freshers’ Fortnight.
Officers will have a visible presence in the student hotspots of Bedford and Luton during the University of Bedfordshire’s Freshers’ Fayres and the multitude of night-time activities planned for new and returning academics.
Freshers’ Fortnight runs until October 9.
Additional patrols will be held to police the night-time economy in key nightspot areas for students and licensing officers will be working closely with pub and club venues and taxi companies to help protect people and ensure they get home safely.
Students are encouraged to approach officers for help and advice, and to follow @bedspolice, @uniofbeds and the hashtag #FreshBeds15 for daily tips and helpful messages.
Chief Inspector for Community Safety Neill Waring said: “We recognise that moving to a new area and starting a new chapter of life can be daunting, so as police it is our role to protect the influx of students to Bedfordshire and ensure they are equipped with the relevant safety and crime prevention advice to stay safe and well.
“For many, this may be their first experience of living away from home and parental control. Nights out and drinking can often play a major part in student life and this coupled with the vibrant and busy social scene of Bedfordshire can lead to potentially dangerous situations.
“While we will be sharing advice around key crime areas such as burglary, rape and sexual assault and domestic abuse in young relationships at this prevalent time of year for young people – we would also be keen to remind them to take care, drink sensibly and look out for new friends as they celebrate their start to university life.”
The University of Bedfordshire’s Director for Student Experience Rumnique Gill said: “Freshers is a great way to start university life, with plenty of opportunities to get involved and try out new things. But at all times we would urge our students to make safety a priority and to follow the advice issued by Bedfordshire Police.
“In addition, support and guidance is available on campus from the University’s Student Support Team while the Students’ Union run a Freshers’ Angels scheme where returning students volunteer to help to settle in new students and provide a point of contact. To recognise a Freshers’ Angel simply look out for students wearing blue t-shirts and feathered wings.”
Bedfordshire Police and the University of Bedfordshire are proud to work in partnership and will be sharing messages throughout the Freshers’ period.
For further advice visit http://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/about_us/news/news_2015/stay_safe_during_freshers%e2%80%99_for.aspx or to report a crime, call the police non-emergency number 101.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.