Police warning to Sunderland students over house parties and 'Light-fingered Larry'

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Police have sent a welcome and a warning out to students as they settle into their university lives in Sunderland.

Thousands of students have been arriving in the region in recent weeks to start university courses, and police say they want to ensure their stay goes with as little incident as possible.

Chief Inspector Dave Pickett of Northumbria Police said so far students have respected their new home towns and behaved "impeccably" during the Freshers Week celebrations, and wants it to stay that way.

He said the force's message was simple: stay safe and respect your new home, and he encouraged students to stop and speak to their local neighbourhood officers if they have concerns.

He said: "Starting university is a very exciting time for these young people, many of whom are leaving home for the first time.

"The past few weeks have seen a number of Freshers events taking place across Newcastle and down the road in Sunderland.

"We have been on duty for these events, including a big pub crawl at the weekend, and are delighted to say that students have behaved really well.

"But now that students are settling in to the academic year we thought it was a good time to remind people about the importance to look after themselves."

Earlier this year the police launched a joint campaign with councils and student unions around safer partying and responsible drinking.

Chief Inspector Pickett said large house parties in residential areas can not only pose real safety risks but it also makes hugely affects the lives of those living in the areas who have to live with loud noise.

"People should take a look at the university website and social media feed and take a couple of minutes to watch those videos," he said.

"However, we also want to remind students to keep their properties secure as we know that opportunist thieves will look to target student areas.

"They know that there are lots of people living under the same roof and that they all own laptops, TVs and tablets so they will be looking for insecure doors and windows. Keep them locked and secure.

He added: "There is tons of information on our website about keeping yourselves and your property safe but we do also have campus police officers.

"We will patrol campus and residential areas where there is a large concentration of student homes so if you see an officer we would urge you to go and introduce yourself.

"Tell us about any issues you are experiencing and we can give advice or guidance so we can make your university experience a safe one."

Further advice on SIMPLE tips for students can be found on our website here: https://www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/advice_for_students/