Home and Personal Safety
Socialising is a huge part of student life and culture and personal safety should be given proper consideration. If you are in a situation where you will be travelling on your own at night, make sure you check in with someone whenever you arrive at your destination and let someone know where you will be travelling. If possible, try to avoid travelling on your own, especially in areas that you are not familiar with. Keep valuables out of sight as you don’t want to attract any unwanted attention. It is also sensible to avoid wearing headphones when walking alone as this can limit your ability to hear what is going on around you. Think ahead! If you are getting a taxi, it is still sensible to do this with a friend.
It is also important to keep home security in mind. The following tips can help keep you and your belongings safe:
- Make sure you lock your bedroom door when you go out. If you do not lock up, you may struggle to claim on your insurance should anything go wrong.
- With the above point in mind, look into getting home insurance if you don’t already have this. Landlords sometimes have this already, but you should check this to confirm.
- Check doors and windows are locked at night or when going out. Don’t assume someone else will do it. If you all assume this, no one will.
- Never leave drinks unattended in pubs or clubs. Anyone can be a victim of spiking. Always keep a close eye on your drinks.
- Don't show off your cash, mobile phone, or laptop. Don't leave them unattended in a place where anyone can take them. Keep your bank cards safe.
- When using a cash machine, try to use it in daylight or well-lit areas. Be wary of people standing too close and conceal your PIN number when you type it in.
- Always lock doors, windows, the boot and sunroof when leaving your car, even if it’s only for a few minutes. An opportunist thief may only need 30 seconds.
- Never leave belongings in your car – even an old coat could tempt a thief if they think there might be something of value in the pockets. If you have to leave anything, lock it in the boot.
- Keep your car topped up with petrol and try to park in busy well-lit areas.
If you become the victim of a crime, the first thing you should consider is contacting the police. Dialling 999 if the incident has just taken place or 101 if the incident happened less recently.
Being a victim of crime can be traumatic and it affects people differently. There is support available for people who have been a victim of crime through Victim Support NI. They are a free, independent and confidential charity who can provide practical and emotional support.
You can visit the Victim Support NI website, and contact them on the following details:
- 028 9024 3133