Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Police offer student homes checks

Student landlords in Reading are being offered free security checks on accommodation they are letting.

Thames Valley Police has teamed up with the University of Reading and the council to help ensure student flats and houses are safe and secure.

As part of the scheme neighbourhood policing officers will check properties for ways to improve security.

It will then be graded from one to four stars and that information will be posted on the university's website.

Targets for burglars

Insp Kevin Sinfield said: "We want to make accommodation for students who are not living on campus more secure.

"Many student properties currently have poor security and can be easy targets for burglars, especially as they may contain expensive electrical equipment like laptops and games consoles."

Ann Westgarth, community relations manager at the University of Reading, said: "We would like to encourage all landlords and letting agencies to take up the property security scheme.

"The security ratings will be highlighted to our students through the university accommodation website to help them choose which properties to rent."

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