University can mean a new city and environment, which is exciting! Enjoy your new surroundings safely by following these top tips:
- When choosing where to stay, make sure that it’s secure and that the area feels safe. It’s a good idea to see what it is like at night as well as during the day.
- Make sure you meet all your prospective flat mates and trust your instincts when deciding whether or not to move in.
- When you leave your room in halls, always lock the door and shut the window, even if you are only popping next door for a minute.
- Consider the risks before inviting someone you’ve just met into your room.
- Don’t let anyone into your block by holding a door open unless you know them or have checked their ID.
- If you see anything suspicious, report it to your campus security or police.
GOING OUT AT NIGHT
- Try to plan ahead. Make sure someone knows where you are going, who you are meeting and when you expect to return.
- Always plan how you are going to get home again.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended. Did you see your drink being poured or opened? If the answer’s no, don’t drink it. Have you left your drink unattended? If the answer’s yes, don’t drink it.
- Spiking is when somebody puts drugs or alcohol in your drink without your knowledge. Symptoms include confusion, loss of coordination and slurred speech. If you start to feel unwell seek assistance from venue staff.
- The Metropolitan Police has some useful information on spiking and how to keep safe.
- The Frank website also has information on how to protect yourself on a night out
- When out with friends, look out for each other and consider travelling back together, or “checking in” when you each arrive home safely.
- If you have to walk home, don’t go alone. Leave with your friends and walk home together. Stick to well-lit roads where there are other people and CCTV, even if it makes the walk slightly longer.
- Always walk so that you’re facing the oncoming traffic. Stay aware of your surroundings, and never listen to music or use your phone on the way home - both things will distract you
SAFETY WHEN OUT AND ABOUT
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid chatting on your mobile phone or listening to music on your headphones, as this can distract you from your surroundings or any potential danger signs.
- Think about getting a personal safety alarm. Keep it in an easily accessible place and carry it in your hand if you feel at risk. It can be used to momentarily distract an attacker giving you vital seconds to escape.
- If you are out at night, try to stick to busy streets and near other people. Avoid danger spots such as poorly-lit areas, deserted parks, or quiet alleyways .
- Ask if there are any areas near your halls that should be avoided. Some short-cuts may be great during the day but have a reputation amongst other students for being unsafe at night.
TRAVEL BY TAXI
- Share information about your journey and the vehicle you’re using with someone you trust
- Find out which licensed taxis and private hire vehicles operate in your area and plan your journey in advance
- Examine the taxi or minicab before you get in – is a licence displayed on the vehicle? Does the vehicle look roadworthy?
- Trust your instincts – if you feel worried or threatened, ask the driver to stop in a busy area so you can get out
- You can report any concerns about taxis or private hire vehicles to the police and your local licensing authority
TRAVEL BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- Where possible wait in a well-lit, busy area.
- Ensure you are aware of your surroundings at night. If you are on a bus at night, it may be safer to sit in the lower deck. If on the underground or train at night, try to sit with other people to avoid empty carriages.
- Don’t be afraid of moving should someone’s behaviour cause you concern.
- Trust your instinct.
- Call British transport police on 61016 to seek assistance or report incidents on the rail network