Students face the risk of becoming victims of a wide variety of crimes at university. Research from a Neighbourhood Watch survey to 172 students (December 2020) indicates the top three crime types students are most concerned about are:
- 53% said serious violence (including, but not limited to, knife crime, murder, serious assault)
- 52% said sexual crime (including, but not limited to, sexual assault, rape, stalking, revenge porn)
- and 45% said mugging/theft.
The majority of students (86%) said they would act on crime prevention advice if provided, and only 35% of participants said they have received personal safety guidance or crime prevention resources from their university/college/student union. The Student Watch initiative is one way to help to fill this crime prevention advice gap in the student environment.
If you are a student, ensuring your personal safety and that of your fellow students, such as having precautions in place when you go out (especially if you are alone), and watching how much you drink is essential. But there are also things you can do to protect yourself and your belongings.
Be aware of physical and psychological threats there are in your environment, and take action to protect personal safety and make yourself less of a target. Be prepared by carrying a charged mobile phone and even a spare battery pack, a bit of cash, and letting someone you trust know where you are going. Be aware that by using headphones and your phone whilst you are walking around - even just by wearing a hoodie - you can be less aware of your surroundings and therefore more of a target. If you are under the influence of alcohol and drugs that too can reduce your reaction times and make you more vulnerable.
Top personal safety tips
PROTECT YOUR BELONGINGS
Students, particularly those fresh on campus, with expensive belongings can be targeted by burglars. Make sure you insure your possessions and use the WIDE security checklist to help protect your home and belongings. Read our burglary protection advice or have a look at Compare the Market's How to Help Prevent Theft: A Guide for University Students.
PROTECT YOUR BICYCLE
PROTECT YOUR CAR
If you have a car at university, you will want to keep it safe. Make sure you leave it LOCKED, LIT and EMPTY.
REPORT HATE CRIME
Anyone can be a target of hate crime and incidents. Typically, hate crimes are verbal abuse, physical assaults or damage to property, a car or home but can include posting abusive or offensive messages online about a person or group of people. Find out how you can report hate crime and receive support if you are a victim of hate crime.
TAKE ACTION AGAINST CYBERCRIME
We know the hassle and impact of becoming a victim of cybercrime. One in five of us will become a victim of cybercrime - and that is people of all ages!
It doesn't take long to protect your password in 3 easy steps. It makes sense really - just as you would protect the keys to your front door. Don't be that one!
We know that victims of scams often report that in hindsight they felt something wasn’t quite right at the time. Take time to ‘stop and think’ if something doesn’t FEEL, SEEM, LOOK or SOUND right, allowing time to trust your gut instinct and help prevent you from becoming a scam victim. Learn more about staying safe from scams.
Want to know more about how to protect against cybercrime? Take a look at our Cyberhood Watch toolkit, hosted by our partners Avast, to stay one step ahead.
Whilst taking precautions can reduce our chances of becoming a victim of crime, it cannot always prevent it. If you have been a victim of crime find out how to report it.