In a small college town like Oxford, just about everyone knows that students leave the city between academic terms and on university breaks (i.e. Thanksgiving or spring break). Thieves are likely to know the dates and times of year of these breaks and may take advantage of empty student homes. You should take extra precautions in protecting your house or apartment against burglary to reduce your risk.
While Oxford is known to be a relatively safe town, it is not immune from criminal activity that can be found in any other city or town. You should be proactive about your personal safety, and take steps to decrease the likelihood that you or your home will be targeted.
Stay aware, be alert, and trust your instincts.
The number one tip for personal safety is stay aware and be alert. Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, get away from that situation as quickly as possible.
- Use the buddy system. Take care of each other.
- Go out together, come home together.
- Do not trust strangers or leave with people you do not know.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Walk only on busy, well-lit streets, even if the trip is longer.
- Have your door keys ready in your pocket and your cell phone in an easily accessible place in case of an immediate need to contact police.
- Do not open the door for strangers. If you've scheduled an appointment with repair or service personnel, ask for an ID or badge before allowing entry.
- Call SafeRide - Oxford Area Curb Services (Monday through Saturday 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and Sundays 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.). Call 513-785-5237 or 1-855-42-BCRTA for reservation information.
- Lock all doors and windows, especially if you are alone, sleeping, or when no one is home.
- Insist that ALL roommates have, carry, and use a key.
- Many burglars spend no more than 60 seconds trying to break into a home. Good locks, good lighting, and good neighbors who watch out for each other can be major deterrents to burglars.
- Do not hide spare keys outside, especially in "typical" spots like under a welcome mat or on top of a door frame.
- Keep the property well lit. Make sure all outside entrances are lit and keep the outside lights on all night.
- Report any broken or improperly functioning lights to your property manager immediately.
- Be sure you have blinds or curtains on your windows to discourage people from looking in.
- Make sure your house number is clearly visible and easily found by emergency personnel who may be responding to your home.
- Report suspicious activity. If something looks questionable - a split screen, an open or broken window, or an open door—do not go in. Call the police immediately from a safe location and keep the home under observation if you can.
- Place valuable items out of sight and in locked areas.
- Make a list of your valuables - laptops, phones, jewelry, etc. Take photos of the items and list their serial numbers and descriptions.
Additional Safety Topics and Tips
- Oxford Police Department: 513-523-4231 or 513-524-5240
- Emergency: 911
- Oxford Fire Department: 513-523-6324
- Miami University Police: 513-529-2222
- Crime Tip Line: 513-524-5249