Keep yourself safe and secure at University

You’re away from home for the first time with the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

But it also means that now you alone are responsible for your own safety and welfare.

It’s also on you to ensure that all of your belongings are secure and not at any risk.

There is so much going on at university and it can be easy to forget about staying safe – especially during those first hectic weeks where you’re focused on settling into a new chapter of your life.

But simple precautions don’t cost much time or money and can help prevent your new-found freedom from being ruined.

Firstly, whenever you leave your room, even if it’s just for a few minutes, always lock your room door.

You don’t want your belongings tempting an opportunist thief and it’s better to be safe than sorry so insurance is a good investment. 

You can make one payment a year to ensure everything in your room is covered.

When out and about, keep valuables, such as phones, purses and wallets, in an inside coat or bag pocket where they can be secured. 

Take advantage of on-campus lockers when using leisure and sports facilities.

Be careful at cash machines, check for signs of interference before using it and never accept a stranger’s help.

If you ever feel threatened while out and about set off a personal alarm – these are normally readily available at universities for either no or little cost. 

Then scream and shout before getting away as quickly as possible.

Once you’re in a safe place, always call the police immediately.

When out jogging, try to go in pairs and in the daylight hours. 

It’s advisable to pick a route that is familiar to you, and stick to main roads with well-lit pavements.

On a night out, keep an eye on how much you are drinking.

The more you drink, the less aware you are going to be about what’s going on around you. 

It will also become harder to react properly to situations that become risky or dangerous.

Eating before you go out and drinking plenty of water will also help you not to get too drunk. 

There is absolutely no need to feel embarrassed about ordering a soft drink or water when you’re in a pub. 

Keep your wits about you and don’t fall victim to peer pressure. 

Make sure to watch your drink at all times, never leave it unattended when you go to the toilet or to dance.

If you suspect you’ve had your drink spiked tell a bouncer or the bar staff so you can get help.

Always plan how you’re going to get to and from the bar or club.

Do not get in the first cab you see – use the taxi services that are recommended to you by the university or Students’ Union because you know they will be licensed and safe.

When the taxi arrives, check it is the one you called. 

Many universities will offer free shuttle buses back from popular venues after hours.

Don’t let anyone walk home by themselves if you can help it, always stick together – the saying ‘there’s safety in numbers’ is isn't a myth.

Going out in a group reduces the risk of any personal attack.

If an incident does happen, report it to the police straight away and also let your university security team and welfare officers know as they are there to help.

Above everything, trust your instincts because they will usually be accurate.

If something doesn’t feel right, then walk away.


TOP TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE

Take responsibility for yourself – don’t rely on others to look out for your best interests.

Watch how much you drink – keep track of what and how much you’re drinking an never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from a stranger.

Don’t walk home alone after a night out–where possible, try to get a taxi but if you have to, walk with a group of friends.

Keep your home secure – ensure access doors locked even when you’re in and when you go out close all the windows and lock all the doors.

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