Nottinghamshire police say burglaries in the city as a whole have dropped by more than a third but there is still a huge problem in terms of break-ins at student-owned properties.

Last year, 15% of a total of 2,000 burglaries across the county were carried out on student properties.

Nottinghamshire police say half of these incidents were because properties had been left insecure with offenders able to walk through unlocked front or back doors to steal valuables.

Nottingham Trent University student, Niamh Donoghue, became victim to an attempted burglary last week at her property on Burns Street – a highly student-populated area.

She has described the experience as frightening: 

Niamh Donoghue describing an attempted burglary at her home

‘The Complete University Guide’ website has also listed Nottingham as the worst city for students affected by crime in 2011.

However Nottingham has since made a huge improvement and the 2015 results show Nottingham to be no longer listed in the top worse places for crimes against students.

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Robert Wilson, said Nottinghamshire police work closely with students and the council to prevent burglaries in the student community.

They have set up a scheme called “Operation Graduate” in which police carry out extra patrols, investigations and engagement events in freshers week.


Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Robert Wilson
Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Robert Wilson

Due to the rising number of student burglaries last year, Nottinghamshire Neighbourhood Watch (NottsWatch) initiated a specialised project in 2014.

This aimed to persuade more students from both Nottingham universities to sign up to the  NottsWatch movement.

Leaflets were handed out, door-to-door calls were made and meetings arranged to encourage people to become NottsWatch co-ordinators.

But the project had to be abandoned because of a poor take-up by students.

Chairman of NottsWatch, John Wood, said: “Most people want to belong to a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, but alas not many people want to manage and run a scheme.

“It takes a certain amount of guts and that is somewhat lacking in today’s ‘let’s look after me’ society.

“Neighbourhood Watch has a lot to offer communities, not only because of our fight against crime, but also as a catalyst for the promotion of community spirit,” he added.

  • Between April 2014-April 2015 there were around 2000 burglaries and attempted burglaries in Nottingham
  • Last year, there were approx. 120 burglaries in student areas
  • This year there have been around 25% less burglaries than last year
  • April-September 2014 there were around 900 burglaries
  • April-September 2015 there were around 600 burglaries