6 sensible things you can do to stay safe at university


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The Independent Online

University campuses might seem very safe due to the friendly atmosphere of thousands of students, but they are often targets for planned crime. After a recent, hilariously unsuccessful attempt in Norfolk to steal a campus cash machine by driving a car into the main building - not even the worst thing that has happened in recent times - here are some things you can do to ensure you stay safe.

Tell people where you’re going

If you live in a large accommodation with many others, and decide to go out with a different group or by yourself, let someone in your residence know where you’re going and that you’ll be back tonight/tomorrow/whenever. That way, if something does happen, you can know someone will be aware and will get people looking for you.

Be aware of who to go to in case of emergency

Familiarising yourself with campus security and knowing who to call in non-police required events can be critical. This applies to everything from kitchen fires, missing friends and rowdy neighbours.

Make sure you know who you’re with

There are plenty of campuses that allow non-students in to events. Most of these locals are harmless, but some will be looking to prey off vulnerable (and most likely intoxicated) students. Make sure you know who they are and where they live if your night mixes you with strangers.

Learn how to walk away

There will be many occasions on a night out where tensions get high and conflict seems inevitable. But being able to just walk away and not get involved in a drunken argument will save a lot of trouble. Most people will forget about it and move on. They won’t forget you if you end up in a fight with them. If you walk away but still feel threatened, tell a bouncer.

Save taxi numbers and be aware of local public transport

There’s nothing worse than coming out of a nightclub at three in the morning, freezing cold, with no means to get home as your friends have all gotten a taxi and left without you. Unlicensed minicabs lurk outside clubs to pick people up. Under no circumstances should you take one – always have a couple numbers of local cab companies to hand to call, even if it does mean waiting around in the cold for a while.

Keep your eyes open!

Many issues can be avoided with just a little awareness. While being on a campus might feel like being in an isolated and protected fortress, the reality is many locals will roam around on campus looking to cause trouble. Keeping an eye open, taking a detour to avoid a group of loitering individuals, staying in well-lit, populated areas are all just common sense.