For many, being at university means getting a first taste of independence – knowing you can stay out as late as you like, meet new people and make your own rules. But new freedom comes with new responsibilities. Below are a few tips to ensure your personal safety – so that fantastic night out doesn’t become the night you wish you could forget.
Our top tips:
- If you’re going out, make sure a friend or flatmate has your mobile number, knows where you’re going and roughly what time you plan to get back.
- When you’re out, don’t leave your drink unattended, and keep track of what you’re drinking.
- If you can, try and leave with a friend or a group of friends. Avoid walking home alone in the dark.
- Don’t let anybody into your room if you don’t yet know them well enough.
More things to think about…
Before going out
- Why not cook a group meal with your house or flatmates? There’s nothing worse than drinking on an empty stomach.
- Plan ahead for getting home – especially if you’re going somewhere you don’t know.
- Charge your phone before heading off and consider taking a portable charger with you in case you get caught out
- Save a reliable and recognised taxi number in your phone; the University’s Security Services team will be able to recommend a company.
When you’re out
- Remember you can ask for Angela. If you’re on a date you don’t feel comfortable on, the person you’re meeting is not who you expected, you feel unsafe, or just something is a bit ‘off’, go to the bar and ask for ‘Angela’. The bar staff will know what to do and will be able to discreetly help you out of the situation. This is a campaign by the Met Police, for more information click here.
- Never accept a drink from a stranger. If you feel ill or drunk when you shouldn’t, your drink could have been spiked and tell someone you trust or a member of staff at the bar/club immediately.
- Don’t feel pressured to drink if you don’t want to. You can opt for soft drinks instead, or in between alcoholic drinks.
- Walk away from conflict or a tense situation. Alcohol fuelled fights at 2am are never a good idea and you’ll always regret it in the morning.
- Try to stay in a group, and look out for each other.
- Let your friends know if you’re leaving.
- On the bus? Don’t sit in an isolated area.
- If you decide to walk, stick to well-lit paths and busy areas.
- When you’re walking, stay alert. Don’t get distracted by your mobile or headphones.
- If you think you’re being followed, cross the street. If it persists, get to the nearest busy location and phone the police on 999.
- If you feel nervous at night walking through campus or back to your room, the University offers a chaperone service, where a member of security can walk you to your destination on campus.
- When you get back to your room, have your keys ready before you get to the door, so you can get straight in. Always lock your door when you’re in your room.
Day to day
- Be aware of campus security – they can help in case of an emergency. Find out more about the service, including the Chaperone service and a ‘stay safe’ guide here.
- Be aware of campus surroundings. Although the University environment is generally a safe place, it is not a ‘bubble’ and you should still be vigilant.
For more information, see:
Useful telephone numbers to save in your phone:
- University emergency security services: +44 (0)118 378 6300
- University general security services: +44 (0)118 378 7799
When out and about…
- Non-emergencies or reporting an incident: 101
- Emergency: 999