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May 13, 2013 | by  | in Features |
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Safe as Houses

What should you do if you come home and think your flat has been burgled?

If you arrive home and things have been taken and the burglar is no longer there call the non-urgent line 381 2000, this will put you through to the Wellington Police Station and your complaint will be taken over the phone. There may be attendance by a crime-scene technician at some stage to look for fingerprints or any other forensic evidence. If you can, have a look around without touching too much and take details of what has been taken. Any information with regards to the property taken (serial #/description) will help police in the long run.

Or if you arrive home mid-burglary?

The first thing you should be doing is calling 111. If you think the person is still in the house, leave; go somewhere safe like your neighbour’s and wait for police to arrive. Give them as much information as possible over the phone and details as to why you think they are still in there; any information will be helpful. If you are able to watch the address from a distance and keep police updated, that is great, but PLEASE don’t try and be a hero, we don’t want you to end up injured. Police are paid to deal with these situations so let us do our job.

Are thefts from flats common in the Victoria University community?

Burglaries and thefts are not an epidemic in these areas, but they do happen, so students cannot get complacent. Just be aware you are living in a large city and students are not the only people that use the area.

What can students do to protect themselves?

To protect yourself you need to make sure that you are looking after your property. Have some insurance, whether this is through your parents or your own, to cover some of your more expensive items. Record your serial numbers at This gives you access to this information anywhere in the country or overseas if you need them. Serial numbers can be very helpful to police in the long run. Be aware of your surroundings and please remember: LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS.

If you live in an apartment building, remember to be aware of who is following you in (tailgating), and don’t leave the door open for others. This keeps you safe as well as others in your building.


Top tips for making your flat theft-proof?

In your flat, the best things to do are:

• Lock your doors and windows when you are not in the house, and even when you are home make sure your front door is locked. This includes when you run next door to your neighbour’s place for a minute. This can be frustrating, but it is important when looking after your property.

• If you don’t know your flatmates that well, you might want to have another lock on your door just to protect yourself. You might know your flatmates, but you might not know their friends.

• Don’t leave your expensive items lying around the house where they can easily be seen through windows. Now of course there are some items that you can’t help, like TVs and other larger items, but if you can help it just put it away.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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