Students have disposable income, even if it is from loans they will have to repay in time, and many of their possessions are new. Added to this, they are often new to the area – and possibly the country –and may still be getting used to living independently. Consequently, there is a risk that they could be victims of opportunist crime. We do not want to see our students get caught in this way or draw petty criminals to the area.
With the help of the Students’ Union and the Police, we support a number of initiatives devised to encourage our students to look after themselves and their possessions. Raising awareness is a vital component of this strategy. We also have a rapid system for reporting any incidents that do occur and the excellent work of our local Police ensures that crime is kept to a minimum. The university's students report that they feel they live in a very safe area and in a recent survey Egham was found to be the safest area for students to live in England and Wales.
What about the other side of the issue – the criminal behaviour of a small minority of our students? As achieving a place at the university and completing a degree requires a considerable investment of time and money, no student is likely to jeopardise their place with us lightly. We have been pleased to find that students very rarely get on the wrong side of the law. We know this because if one of our students is involved in a crime, the university has to be informed - and it takes such cases very seriously. We have the power to review the student’s registration and a termination or lengthy suspension of registration is the usual outcome.
If a student comes to the university with a conviction, they are not rejected automatically as we consider each case individually. However, if admitted, these students are made fully aware that any further criminal behaviour will result in prompt de-registration. The university is pleased that its work with the Police and the local community has to date minimised student involvement with crime – whether as victims or as offenders.