Student - Student Safety

Student Safety in Bristol

Bristol is a great place to be a student - friendly, loads of pubs and all you need within easy reach.

But just like every other city you have to look after yourself. Your safety is your responsibility, and although we don't want you to unnecessarily worry here are some tips.

Out and About

  • Don't walk alone at night and stay in well lit area's if possible.
  • Vary your route home - but make sure it's safe.
  • Avoid texting or talking on your mobile as you walk alone, it is an easy target for theives.
  • Be alert - walk with confidence, looking back occasionally.
  • Don't listen to a walkman/personal stereo whilst walking alone as you will not be able to hear people coming up behind you.
  • If you suspect that you are been followed head for the nearest building with people in it.
  • Shout fire instead of help - it attracts more people.
  • Listen to your intuition - it can often be right.

Mobile Phone Safety

Unfortunately, instances of students having mobile phones snatched are increasing rapidly. The police would like to make students aware of these incidents, and offer a number of simple ways to prevent you becoming a target:

  • Don't flaunt your mobile phone in public areas, particularly during evening hours. Keep other valuables concealed whenever possible.
  • Try to keep to busy well-lit areas, don't take short cuts and avoid back alleys.
  • Try and stick to the many routes around the city centre that are covered by CCTV.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Record you phone's IMEI number; this is its unique identifying number. You can get this 15 digit number by keying *#06# (not on Ericsson phones). The police and your service provider need this number if the phone is stolen.

Home Alone

  • Secure your house - lock the doors and windows, even when you are in.

  • If previous tenants have keys to the house get the locks changed.

  • Never give details when answering the phone. If it is a wrong number ask them to repeat the number they are after rather than giving out yours.

  • Leave your lights on if going out at night.
  • Always ask for identification if someone is asking to enter your house.

  • If you are living on the ground floor put net curtains over the windows and don't place expensive items near the window.

Tips on Staying Safe

While attacks in Bristol are not common it is worth being aware of ways to avoid such acts. Below, the Police offer important information:

    1) The first thing attackers look for in a potential victim is hairstyle that can be easily grabbed. They are also likely to go after a person with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

    2) The second thing they look for is clothing. They will look for individuals who's clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

    3) They also look for people on their mobile phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking, because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

    4) The time of day these criminals are most likely to attack a victim is in the early morning, between 5 and 8.30am.

    5) Attackers look to grab a victim and quickly move him/her to a second location, where they don't have to worry about getting caught.

    6) Only 2% of convicted rapists' questioned in a recent survey said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.

    7) Useful defence mechanisms are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a lift or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make small talk, "I can't believe it is so cold out here, we're in for a bad winter". Now you've seen their face and could identify them in a line-up, you lose appeal as a target.

    8) If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell "stop" or "stay back!" Most of the rapists talked to said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. again, they are looking for an EASY target.

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