Having seen the schools return a few weeks ago, many university students have now started their new term.

PC Dermott Maughan and PC Gemma Gill-Stafford attended a freshers’ event at Queen Margaret University last week, where they spoke to a number of new students from all around the world, welcoming them to East Lothian and ensuring they know basic information about how to contact the emergency services and where their local police stations are.

Students were also provided with information relating to ‘drink spiking’ and handed ‘spike stoppers’, which were well received.

Basic advice on how to keep safe on a night out was provided, along with some small, handheld alarms. For more information, visit talk tofrank.com/news/spiking

If you are already a student or have friends or family about to embark on university life, please share with them information on online safety at scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/ student-online-safety-guide

In conversation, some students raised concerns over the rising trend of ‘sextortion’ type offences.

It is worth saying that these types of crime are on the rise throughout a variety of age groups and I would urge caution when engaging with any stranger in online forums, particularly when the conversation becomes sexually explicit in nature and the stranger asks for intimate images to be exchanged.

We are seeing almost daily occurrences of incidents of this nature, and the distress caused by threats made by the culprit to share images of the victim with their friends and family unless they are paid large amounts of money often leaves a lasting impact.

If you have received any threat of this nature, please do not hesitate to report it.

Frequently, people feel embarrassed over what has happened and are reluctant to report the incident to the police but it is important that it is reported and that the person involved receives support from friends and family and, if necessary, professionals.

For more information, visit scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/internet-safety/sextortion