Student safety campaign recruits Keith the Thief
Costumed character - Keith the Thief - will join forces with 26 criminology student volunteers in handing out safety advice and information on 17 and 19 April from 3.30-7.00pm in Woodhouse Moor and Hyde Park.
Additionally, the team have the backing of West Yorkshire Police. Leeds Metropolitan's Safer Student police officer, Mark Bottomley, is helping to drive the campaign and raise awareness.
Mark commented: "Students from the Centre for Events Management have been really creative in coming up with the character of Keith the Thief. Myself and Police Community Support Officers will be attending the safety drive with Keith and the volunteers to help spread the word of their safety messages. This is a student-led campaign and we're very happy to support them. Students from Leeds Met's Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology have designed posters and flyers to advertise the two events, as well as designing Keith the Thief's costume."
Pc Bottomley said they had recruited Leeds Metropolitan security guard Terry Braithwaite to wear the outfit and take on the role of Keith the Thief next week. He added that more than 3,000 leaflets had already been distributed to students locally to help ensure the campaign's success.
The safety leaflets give advice to students on how to avoid becoming easy targets for street robbers. Messages such as advising students not to walk around on their mobile phones, to avoid unlit areas at night and to be aware of their surroundings whilst listening to their iPods, are key in the campaign.
Chief Superintendent Dave Oldroyd, Divisional Commander for North West Leeds, said: "Getting personal safety messages across to the student community can sometimes be a real challenge so we very much welcome this creative approach to grabbing their attention. We will be continuing to work alongside the universities to make sure students have a safe and enjoyable time in the city and we hope that this eye-catching campaign will help more students to avoid becoming victims of crime."