Police give crime message to students
Police have taken to social media to convey hard-hitting crime messages to the city's new influx of students.
In a first for the city's police, officers have combined forces with Exeter University's Students' Union to communicate with students via Twitter and other social networking sites.
Warnings about the dangers of excessive drinking and how to protect property have been interspersed with more general information about living in Exeter.
Chief Inspector Terry Bissessar, head of police operations for Exeter, Mid and East Devon, said: "We have taken a different approach this year in communicating with the students.
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"They don't want a surrogate parent telling them what not to do.
"So instead, we went to the Student's Union and asked them how best we communicate with the young people.
"We have been putting some messages on Twitter and other social media.
"We have used some hard-hitting messages interspersed with information they will take notice of, for instance, where the best bars are."
He added: "The last thing we want to do is criminalise these young people.
"They have come to Exeter and have a life to get on with – we just want to make them safe."
Police said Fresher's Week, which finished last weekend sep 22/23, had gone "without major incident".
Extra police officers were drafted in to patrol the streets during the weekends and evenings and Chief Insp Bissessar admitted it was a "busy time" for the city's police.
"Fresher's Week is a busy week and it is ongoing," he said.
"It is the start of a busy period for us as far as young people and the misuse of alcohol is concerned.
"We have had nothing major during Fresher's Week.
"However, we normally see a rise in thefts and violence with injury."
Officers are continuing to warn students about leaving valuables unattended and doors and windows insecure.
Chief Insp Bissessar said: "We have gone round the halls of residences and already we are seeing open doors and laptops lying around."