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:
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 Neighbourhood Network are supporting the national Neighbourhood Watch Network Student Watch initiative which 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
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 burglary protection advice here.
If you have a car at university, you will want to keep it safe. Make sure you leave it LOCKED, LIT and EMPTY.
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.
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.
The words ‘student safety’ can bring to mind awkward parental advice, scaremongering lectures or, worst of all, an ageing man in a backwards cap saying ‘how do you do, fellow kids’? But the people who know students best are… students.
THE LOOKOUT termly magazine is full of incredible stories written by students for students. It also features stories of students across the country who are doing amazing things to bring their campus and local community together, advice on safety and wellbeing, and how to get involved with local volunteering opportunities.Image
Issue 1 – Sept 2021 – https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2021-09/TheLookout-issue1.pdf
Do you want to help lead the discussion around safety and community on and off-campus? Student Watch is an initiative that empowers students to support each other on campus and in their community to create a safer, happier environment. Often, students’ opinions on how they think their wider communities could be improved go unheard.
The Student Council will be formed of a selected group of diverse students who will provide a sounding board and ideas drive for tackling safety and health and wellbeing on and off-campus.
If you believe in working towards a better-connected and safer student campus and community, put yourself forward for the STUDENT COUNCIL.
STUDENT WATCH enables students to connect with and support others on campus and in their local community.
By looking out for each other, you can help improve student wellbeing, reduce opportunities for crime to occur and help people feel safer.
Through Student Watch you can receive information on connecting communities, safety and wellbeing, and have opportunities to get involved with campaigns on campus.
If you are interested in being a community activist on your campus by setting up a Watch, helping make the changes YOU want to see, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an opportunity to shape the way Neighboruhood Watch and community response works for students and young people. Watches will be run by student volunteers across England and Wales supported by local volunteer-led Associations, and by Neighbourhood Watch Network, the national umbrella organisation for the movement.
In addition to THE LOOKOUT, Student Watch members will also receive:
Help build a society where students come together to create safer and more connected campus communities.