How to protect yourself against crime and what to do if you become a victim

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The Independent Online
On the streets:

Avoid walking the streets at night. Use public transport or take a cab. Keep a note of bus routes and taxi numbers.

If you have to walk, walk with friends. Keep to well-lit areas and don't take short cuts.

Avoid using cashpoints late at night; but also, don't withdraw more money than you need.

When you are out and about, stay alert and look confident.

If anything does happen, remember that your priority is to get away.

At home or in halls of residence:

Don't leave cash in a room.

Leave expensive items at home; if you cannot, don't leave them on display, for example in street-facing windows.

Keep your doors and windows locked, even if you are only out for a few minutes.

Don't admit strangers. Ask for ID from officials.

Buy, and use, a good bike lock.

Think about contents insurance.

Remember that most crimes are minor, so be vigilant even in familiar surroundings. Unlocked room doors or unattended bags in the library are just tempting fate.

If you are a victim:

Report the crime. The police say time and time again that students are reluctant to approach them. But if they don't know about incidents, they can do little to help.

Seek advice. University and student union counselling services can help. You can also approach Victim Support through the police, or directly.

Don't blame yourself, and remember that it is quite normal to feel shock after a crime - even if it hits you several days later.

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