Birmingham is generally a safe place to live and study. But as with all big cities crime does take place and it is important for students to be aware of the possibility of crime, to be alert and aware in order to stay safe. According to the National Union of Students (NUS) across the UK 1 in 5 students are the victim of some form of crime whilst at university.
Here are some tips on staying safe;
- Be aware of your surroundings, particularly when it is dark.
- Trust your instincts.
- Try to walk with a friend or in groups, avoid walking in, quiet or badly lit alleyways, subways or isolated parks. If you do need to keep to the middle of the path.
- Don’t text and walk, this will lower your awareness levels.
- If you wear earphones when walking be aware your awareness of surroundings will be impaired. Consider leaving 1 earphone out.
- Change earphones to black or dark coloured ones, they will not stand out so much in the dark.
- Don’t have your music too loud so you can’t hear people approaching.
- Ensure your phone charged and in credit.
- Look confident even if you don’t know where you’re going.
- If a vehicle pulls up suddenly alongside you, turn and walk in the other direction.
- Keep your bag closed properly, try and keep the opening facing you.
- Don’t be worried about making a lots of noise if you are feeling threatened. Shout as loud as you can. Offenders don’t want you to draw attention.
- If you are at all worried, try and stay near a group of people, try and catch up with others going in your direction.
- When people you don’t know talk to you keep walking, rather than standing still.
Remember the earlier you spot a potential problem arising, the more choices you have to avoid it them. Stay alert.
West Midlands Police have produced a website with useful safety advice for students: http://saferstudents.west-midlands.police.uk/
The NUS have also produced lots of safety tips for students here; https://www.nus.org.uk/en/campaigns/the-lock/yourself/
You can report crime anonymously here;