Leeds is a brilliant city, but as you would expect, it still has it's share of crime. Whether you're on a night out, in your student housing or surfing the World Wide Web, it’s important to be prepared, knowledgeable and take simple steps to stay safe.
If you are walking in the dark, stick to well-lit and busy streets and try to walk home in a group.
Stay vigilant when using your mobile phone, especially at night
Make sure you’re not showing off any valuables. It’s a good idea to carry your bag close to you with the clasp or pocket facing inwards. Keep it zipped, so your wallet or purse can’t be seen.
Pick up a free personal alarm at Student Welfare or the Union office to keep with you at all times.
Register your possessions with Immobilise so that the Police can return any stolen items, if found.
Shred documents with personal details once they're not needed.
Keep PINs safe.
Don't respond to fake or scam emails asking for your personal details.
Make sure that all windows and doors are always locked, especially when you’re not at home.
Turn off any computers or TV’s and make sure you keep your valuables out of sight.
We know a lot of you enjoy a night out or a bit of a party and we want to make sure you have the best time. So here are a few tips to ensure nothing gets in the way of a good night and keeps everyone safe as well!
Eat a meal
Write it down
The number one tip is to stay hydrated (with water!) It’ll help flush away any toxins so you can avoid that dreaded hangover. It’ll also promotes clearer skin and help your metabolism run better.
Mingle Don’t mix
It’s great to meet new people or catch up with old pals. One thing which can have a really bad effect is mixing what you put into your body. Try to stick to one type of drink group (e.g. spirits, wines, beers) to feel your best the next day. Never push your body too far, and really consider the consequences before you risk it.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not eating properly, especially before a night of drinking. Make sure you ‘line your stomach’ before any kind of drinking to stay feeling on top of your game, and ensuring you don’t run out of steam whilst you’re out.
Ask for Angela
If you find yourself in a situation you want to get out of ask the bartender ‘for Angela’. They should know that this means you feel unsafe and they’ll help you get out discreetly and safely and can even call you a taxi.
Go in groups
Phone batteries die (especially iPhones!) It takes 2 mins to copy down a few phone numbers on to a piece of paper to keep in your purse/wallet. That way if your phone dies, breaks, gets stolen or is lost, you can still get in touch with someone you trust.
Keep an eye out
A great night out can turn nasty very quickly. Keep an eye out for anyone who looks in distress or uncomfortable. Checking in on your friends or even strangers can be the best thing to do. If you were in an uncomfortable position, you’d be so grateful that someone took a second to check up on you.
Trust your instincts
At the end of the day, you’re an adult, and your instincts will probably be pretty accurate! If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t feel afraid to make a decision based on just a gut feeling and never push yourself to do something you’re not comfortable with.
Sometimes you realise you just don’t want to be there. That’s ok, there’s no point in staying out when you’re not enjoying it. Just make sure you let the people you’re with know you’re leaving and have a way to get home safely.
If possible, stay in a group of 3-5 people, make sure there’s enough of you that you feel safe, but also remember it’s easy for one person to go missing in a large group.
Track your mates
It might sound a bit Black Mirror, but having your mates (or your mum/siblings if you’re at home home) on Find My Friends or similar apps can be really reassuring. Whether it’s just quickly checking they got home safe or knowing that your friends can see where you are in case you need help. Sharing (your location) is caring.