The Morgantown area and West Virginia University are safe communities. But there are things you can do to help protect yourself and reduce crime on the WVU campus. It’s all about reducing the “opportunity” for crime. By limiting the opportunity for crime, you limit the ability for the criminal to commit the crime.
WALKING ON CAMPUS
- Never walk, jog, or bike alone — especially at night. Use the LiveSafe App safe walk feature, a taxi, or Mountain Lion bus service when you can’t find someone to go with you. If you must walk alone or in a small group, use well-lit, well-known areas.
- Use common sense and don’t display phones or electronics.
- Don’t wear headphones, especially at night.
- Always be aware of your surroundings, and don’t look at your phone while walking.
- If you’re ever confronted by an individual with a dangerous weapon, give up your property and never resist.
- Report suspicious behavior or criminal activity to police IMMEDIATELY by calling 911.
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS
- If you hear something suspicious, call 911.
- Always keep your possessions in sight. Don’t leave books or backpacks unattended anywhere — it only takes a matter of seconds for things to disappear.
- Always lock your doors and windows at all times, even if you’re home.
- Never leave a wallet or purse on top of your desk — take it with you or lock it in a drawer.
- Avoid taking wallets, money, and jewelry into athletic facilities and storing them in lockers without securing them with a lock — these are targets of thieves.
- Mark your property; place marks inside your books. (refer to Operation I.D.)
- Be alert to potential danger. If it doesn’t look or feel right, trust your instinct and leave.
- Don’t leave objects plainly visible in your car; secure them in the trunk whenever possible.
SAFETY WHILE YOU’RE AWAY
- Lock apartment and office doors and windows before leaving for the holidays.
- Burglars frequently target cash, laptops, phones, bikes, jewelry, etc. Don’t leave attractive items out in plain sight. If possible, store them in a locked drawer, closet or interior room. Or try to take small valuables with you when you leave.
- Draw curtains and shades and set a timer for lamps.
- Temporarily stop mail and newspaper delivery.
- Let a landlord, property owner, or co-worker know how long you’ll be gone and how you can be reached in the event of a problem.
- Record serial numbers for expensive items, cameras, bicycles, etc. (refer to Operation I.D.)
- If you own a moped, remember that it cannot be stored inside a university residence hall. Make sure to use an external locking device around a tire to prevent theft.
- To help prevent the risk of accidental fire, make sure to unplug large electrical appliances, including computers, stereos or microwaves.
SAFETY WHERE YOU LIVE
Whether you live on campus in University Housing or in an off-campus high-rise, house or apartment, awareness and prevention of crime doesn’t stop at your front door.
- Never prop open a building door or allow access to a stranger. University Housing has installed security cameras and monitors in its residence hall buildings, along with exterior locking and monitoring systems that notify staff when doors are ajar or propped open.
- Residents of University Housing are urged to keep their doors locked, especially when home or sleeping.
- If you feel uncomfortable confronting a person who is following you into a residence hall, alert your night staff, or UPD.
- Always carry your key when you leave your room.
- Do not open the door to someone who does not carry proper identification. University Housing custodial and maintenance staff members all wear identification tags with their photos and names.
- Report any crime or suspicion of a crime at once. If UWPD is contacted within the first five minutes, police have a better chance of finding a suspect.
- Keep your windows and doors locked both when occupied and unoccupied.
- Don’t buzz people you don’t know into the building.
- Never prop open an exterior building door.
- Report any safety concerns (non-working hallway or outside lights, locks, etc.) to your property owner or manager immediately.
WHEN LOOKING FOR OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING
- Personally, check out the area. Do you feel comfortable? Trust your feelings and your common sense.
- Talk with other tenants who live in the building or in the area about how comfortable or safe they feel. Ask about any crime problems in the building or neighborhood.
- Check out the housing unit for adequate locks on windows and doors. Are outside doors securely locked? Do doors into apartments have a deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw? If the housing unit is on the first or second floor, or if the windows are accessible by trees/fire escapes, do the windows have sash-fastener window locks? Landlords are legally required to provide certain security features. See below for details.
- Return in the evening and check out the lighting in hallways and outside the building. Are parking areas well-lit?
- Check out transportation availability. Is the walk to the bus stop well-lit?