Now the dark nights have drawn in, you might be more wary about heading out and about
FACT: Women feel most in danger when walking down the street, yet men are most likely to be victims of robbery or personal attacks. Don't make yourself an easy target...
It's sometimes easy to forget about keeping you and your belongings safe, but by following these simple steps, you'll definitely put your mind at ease:
- Keep bags closed and fastened and be wary when wearing a backpack. If someone grabs it, let it go. Bags - and their contents - can be replaced.
- Use cash machines in daylight or with a mate. Otherwise, choose a well-lit area or try to use one in a shop or bank.
- Don't flash your cash or electricals like mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Try to keep them hidden in an anonymous bag.
- If you suspect you're being followed, cross over the road to see if they follow. If you're still worried, don't hang around. Go to a public place and call a friend to meet you, or the police.
- Avoid that 5-minute shortcut at night. It might be a lot quicker and easier, and that's fine during the day but once it's dark it isn't really worth it. If it cuts through cemeteries, alleys and parks then it's best to just stay away.
- Have your flat keys ready before you reach the door - and carry them on you, not in your bag so you don't need to fumble for them.
- Walk confidently and be aware of what's going on around you. Try to blend in and avoid wearing your 'Drunk' or 'Lost' student badge which will make you stand out to criminals.
- Travelling by taxi? Use a licensed one that you recognise from a private hire company. If you're not sure if it's licensed, just call another one and wait somewhere safe.
- Avoid being on the phone or listening to music, you won't hear if someone comes up behind you. Your hearing is your best protection and your voice is your best defence. If you're attacked, shout and run.
- If your gut says there's trouble ahead, there probably is. Get somewhere safe as soon as possible.
If something does happen to you, report it to police and campus security. You could stop it happening to someone else.