The risk of suffering from violence or aggression is thankfully very low but you do need to be careful, especially when you are in a new environment with new people. By taking some simple, basic precautions you can easily reduce the risks and take control of your own safety.
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.
Think about the risks before inviting someone you’ve just met into your room.
Never 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. It may be nothing to worry about but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When choosing where to stay, make sure that it’s secure and that the area feels safe. It’s a good idea to visit it 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.
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.
Remember, alcohol can seriously affect your ability to make safe judgements.
If you are socializing with a group of people, then watch out for each other and make sure everyone stays safe.
Remember, the most common date rape drug is alcohol, so keep an eye on your drinks so that neither drugs nor extra alcohol are added.
Dates are safer and easier to leave quickly if they are in a public place.
Safety when out and about
Stay Alert! Avoid chatting on your mobile phone or listening to music on your headphones, as this will distract you from your surroundings and prevent you from hearing any potential danger signs.
You may often be laden with books and bags but always try to keep one hand free and walk confidently and purposefully.
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.
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 and walk facing oncoming traffic to avoid kerb crawlers.
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.
If you see someone else in trouble, think twice before trying to help. This may just aggravate the problem and you could end up hurt as well. It may be a lot more helpful to shout for help, call the police or generally make a lot of noise to attract attention.
If you are planning to use public transport, always check the times of the last train, tube or buses.
If a bus is empty or it is after dark, it may be safer to stay on the lower deck and sit near the driver or conductor. On trains or on the underground, try to sit with other people and avoid empty carriages.
If you feel uneasy, don’t be afraid to move to another seat or carriage.
Always carry the telephone number of a trusted, licensed taxi or minicab company with you or have a suitable booking app available on your phone.
Never take an unlicensed minicab, as these are unchecked, uninsured and can potentially be very dangerous.