Keeping safe at university
Starting Uni will be a super busy time. Not only will you be getting used to new surroundings, you will also be getting to grips with your timetable and enjoying lots of socialising with fellow students. With so much going on it’s easy to forget a few of the simple things that help you to keep safe. And even though Hatfield was voted the second safest University town in the East of England in 2017 and it’s very rare that we have any issues, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your wits about you! So here are a few suggestions to help keep safe.
Keep your mobile phone fully charged
Sounds obvious but how many times have you been out and suddenly realised that your battery has hit 0%? Get into the habit of popping your phone on charge when you know you’re going out. You could also get yourself a power bank to carry around with you just in case.
Only use licensed taxis
There are a number of licensed taxi companies local to the Uni. We’ve popped their numbers below so you can save them in your phone.
- Hilltop Taxis: 01707 266666
- White Lion Taxis: 01707 266646
- Simon Cabs: 01707 251500
- AAA Taxis: 01707 888777
If you plan to use a taxi not listed above, just make sure you check they are fully licensed before calling and booking them for your journey.
Lock windows and doors
Another obvious one, but also really important. No doubt you will have some valuable and sentimental belongings in your student accommodation, so don’t give anyone the opportunity to take them from you. A window left slightly open or a door unlocked is an open invitation for burglars. Make sure you lock up when you leave your accommodation.
Save the University Security numbers in your phone
The Uni has emergency and non-emergency security lines that you can call. Their numbers are below so pop them in your phone. Better to have them to hand just in case rather than not at all!
- UH Security non-emergency +44 (0) 1707 281010
- UH Security emergency +44 (0)1707 285555
Try to avoid going out on your own, especially to areas that you are unfamiliar with. And when you are out make sure you stick together. Staying with a group of friends means you are far less vulnerable than when on your own.
Tell us if something doesn’t seem right
We have a number of options to tell us about something that is concerning you. It could be anything from a fellow student not seeming their self, through to seeing something suspicion on campus. The best way to let us know is by calling security directly on the numbers above so that they can deal with things immediately and more effectively. We also have our Report and Support online forms where you can choose to report something anonymously, or you can leave your details meaning we can come back to you if we need more information. Check out the Report and Support pages on the Uni website for more info.
Be vigilant to avoid financial scams
Financial fraudsters often target students at the start of a new academic year by issuing scam emails offering things like fake tax refunds. It’s really important to remain vigilant with any emails you receive about your personal finances, especially as these will be designed to look legitimate. Following the below advice, issued by HMRC, will help you to be more aware and avoid being caught out.
- Recognise the signs – genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details.
- Stay safe – don’t give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting.
- Take action – forward all suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599.
- Check GOV.UK for information on how to avoid and report scams and to recognise genuine HMRC contact.
- If you think you have received an HMRC related phishing/bogus email or text message, you can check it against the examples shown in this guide.
- Contact your bank immediately if you believe you’ve submitted card details to a scammer and report to Action Fraud if you suffer financial loss.
Hear more from your Community Police Officers
We are lucky to have a dedicated team of police officers looking after the campuses. They are a super friendly bunch and you may have already seen them out and about on de Havilland and College Lane. In their short video, they share even more tips on keeping safe. Check it out below.
Above everything, just be sensible and use your common sense and you won’t have anything to worry about!
Diane and Emma, Dean of Students Office.