Personal safety, cycle crime and road safety

People walking

We are now in the second week of Crime Reduction and Safety Fortnight. This week our focus is on personal safety when out and about, cycle crime and road safety. The following advice is particularly useful for new students so do please share it where you can.

Out and about

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times and look confident even if you do not feel it
  • Avoid talking on your mobile phone, listening to music or doing anything that means you might be distracted from what is going on around you
  • Let people know where you’re going and when to expect you
  • If threatened, run towards a popular or well-lit area
  • Carry your bag close to your body. If someone grabs your bag, let it go – your safety is more important than your belongings
  • Keep your house keys in your pocket and avoid displaying attractive items, such as jewellery, mobile phones, laptops or personal stereos
  • Carry a personal attack alarm and make sure it is accessible
  • Avoid confrontation with unruly groups or drunk people
  • Avoid eye contact in any situation where you feel uncomfortable or threatened
  • Never leave your bag, wallet or purse unattended
  • Report any theft or loss immediately to the police and University security

Travelling by foot

  • Don’t walk home alone after a night out. Where possible, try to get a taxi but if you have to, walk with a group of friends
  • Do not take short cuts or walk in isolated areas
  • Keep to well-lit paths and driveways
  • Day or night, walk facing the traffic so that a vehicle can’t pull up behind you unnoticed

By car

  • Don't accept lifts from anyone you don't know and trust
  • Ensure you have enough fuel for the journey
  • Keep all car doors locked when driving
  • Never pick up hitchhikers
  • Keep valuables out of sight – don’t put your handbag/wallet on the passenger seat when driving
  • Park in well-lit areas or supervised car parks

By bicycle

  • Always lock your bike to something solid using a D-shaped lock as sold at the Cycle Hut in the Arts Tower car park
  • Wear protective headwear and bright colours
  • Use lights in poor visibility
  • More information about cycling safety

By public transport

  • Use black cabs or book a taxi home in advance
  • Never get into an unlicensed minicab – no matter how long you’ve been waiting or how much you just want to get home, it is never worth the risk
  • If you don't have enough money for a taxi remember the Students' Union Safe Taxi Scheme
  • Female students can use the women’s minibus which takes women from the Students’ Union to their homes for just GBP 1.50
  • Avoid using quiet or lonely bus or tram stops
  • Sit as close to the bus driver or tram conductor as possible

Have a safe night out

  • Eat before you head out for the night and pace yourself when out drinking and know your limits. Never leave a drink unattended. Look out for your friends and don't leave them behind.

Road safety

  • Always use pedestrian crossings
  • Never assume that an approaching vehicle can see you, or will stop for you – wait until all vehicles have stopped before you cross
  • Be aware of the high number of cyclists around the University and do not walk in cycle lanes as this presents a danger to both the cyclist and yourself.
  • At road junctions, check for turning vehicles before you leave the kerb, and while you are crossing the road
  • Avoid crossing between parked cars or at the front or back of buses
  • Wear bright, light coloured clothing at night or in reduced visibility conditions
  • Avoid using a mobile phone or portable media player (so you can hear vehicles and concentrate on crossing the road)
  • At traffic lights, make sure that vehicles stop before you start to cross, and don't enter the road if vehicles are moving through the crossing or if the red don't walk signal shows