Gardaí launch college safety campaign
Rental fraud, money mules, drugs, sexual consent and hate crime are some of the topics covered by a new campaign launched by An Garda Síochána to keep college students safe.
The #SafeatCollege campaign will provide information directly to students and across An Garda Síochána’s social media channels over the coming months.
Each programme will be evidence-based and will focus on topics that may be more relevant for a particular time of year, such as rental fraud at the start of the academic year and personal safety and socialising throughout the term.
Assistant Commissioner Paula Hillman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement said An Garda Síochána wants to ensure students enjoy their college experience while reminding them and their parents that there is information and help available all year round.
“Given the restrictions relating to Covid-19 last year, we recognise this year will be different as some of you may be effectively attending campus for the first time,” said Assistant Commissioner Hillman.
“It is understandable you will want to get out and meet each other. The #SafeatCollege campaign is designed to help you, to provide you with information and tools to ensure you all have a safe experience.
“It also raises awareness of the longer term consequences of certain behaviour, for example losing the opportunity to travel and the impact on future job prospects.”
A key element of the campaign are the more than 50 Campus Watch Schemes across the country. The Campus Watch Programme is a crime prevention and community safety programme similar to a residential Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. It operates as a partnership between An Garda Síochána and the campus occupants.
The programme works on the basis that every member of campus can help to improve the quality of life of all on site by looking out for other students, staff and visitors, and reporting suspicious activities to the gardaí.
This year alone the Campus Watch Gardaí in Cork have taken part in Bystander Week with information and crime prevention stands in place throughout the week on each campus in UCC and MTU.
During Fresher’s Week in September, Campus Watch Gardaí held clinics where advice was passed on in relation to active bystander and consent. In MTU they also held a bike security event which proved very successful.
Advice and information can be found in the Campus Watch Information Leaflet which is available in multiple languages on the Campus Watch page at garda.ie.