Burglar gives students a lesson in security
21 November 2012
A FORMER burglar has teamed-up with West Midlands Police to help keep students safe in the latest Letters of the Law initiative giving the public behind the scenes insight into wider police work.
As the project jumps to B for Burglary, the hard hitting film captures Chris - recently released from prison – talking candidly about this past offending and how he deliberately targeted dozens of student homes because “they’re a soft touch.”
Laptops containing vital coursework, mobiles with friends’ contact details, wages from part-time jobs and a host of other items were all considered fair game for the one-time career criminal who openly admits that he never once thought of his victims and showed “no remorse”.
Chris was freed from HMP Birmingham in late August having been sentenced to 15 months for his role in 33 burglaries committed over three months in Selly Oak, an area with lots of students living in rented accommodation.
“The sort of houses that I would target personally would be student accommodations [sic] because it’s easy. It’s an easy target basically because they’re a soft touch aren’t they,” said Chris.
“Students leave windows open, they leave doors open and they leave items all over the property.
“Everything what’s on these laptops and pictures, coursework… I don’t look at that! Burglars are just looking at the pacific [sic] item itself.
“From a burglar’s point of view, you don’t actually think of the victim’s feelings and the person and the way they’re feeling. There’s no remorse at all. I don’t think about it at all, all I’m thinking about is how to make money.”
In the film, the 33-year-old Brummie goes on to echo police advice on how students can reduce their chances of becoming a victim of burglary.
The innovative approach was developed by Selly Oak officers as part of the force’s continued efforts to drive burglary down to new record lows.
Today (Wednesday 21 November) the short film will be been shown at universities in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton on a giant mobile TV screen with local officers on hand to provide students with home security tips.
Sergeant Mike Dunbar, from West Midlands Police, has led the project.
“I’ve been responsible for policing in Selly Oak for 18 months now and it’s a unique area. That’s why we developed an equally unique approach in partnership with the University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students and the Birmingham Community Safety Project.
“Together we wanted to get students thinking about how to keep their homes and belongings safe.
“The film is highly impactive and forms just one element of our ongoing joint plans to further reduce burglary in the county.”
Burglary across the West Midlands is down almost 16 per cent this year (2012). That’s 1,369 fewer victims of burglary when compared to the same period (April - October) 2011.
The success is partially attributed to robust offender management and local people implementing police crime reduction advice.
Chris received no payment for his participation in the project.
Students can get safety advice specific to their situation at: www.saferstudents.co.uk
For free and easy to follow home security tips, visit: www.safer-homes.org