4 ways to stay safe as the nights get darker

It’s always important to look after yourself on campus and in the city – even more so now the weather is getting colder and the nights are becoming darker.

Unfortunately, we’ve had reports of a recent spate of muggings in Birchfield’s Park, and whilst it’s not a common occurrence we just want to reinforce how important it is to take some precautions when you’re out and about.

1. Dark nights, bright lights

It might be common sense, but try and stay on well-lit routes. Those shortcuts that were wonderful on summer evenings are less of a good idea as the nights draw in. Whenever possible avoid isolated areas, especially if you’re alone.

2. Let people know where you are, and how you’re getting home

Staying in the library late, or off on a night out? Make sure someone knows where you are and what time you’re due home.

If you’re getting a taxi, make sure you wait in a safe place and check the driver’s ID before you get in. Do not flag down private taxis unless you have pre-booked them. Black hackney carriages can be flagged down in the street.

The Students’ Union Safe Taxi Scheme means that if you run out of cash and need to get home, you can give StreetCars Taxis your student card in lieu of payment, and pay the following day when you collect your card from the Students’ Union Helpdesk.

3. Be aware of your surroundings

Strolling and scrolling is something most of us do, but it’s definitely a better idea to keep your phone out of sight. Not only for the security of your phone, but it only takes a few seconds to be distracted whilst checking Instagram or changing tracks that you step out into the road without checking.

4. Stick together on nights out

We all know it’s easy to get separated from friends when you’re on a night out. But try and reconnect with someone from your group. Make sure your phone is charged before you go out so you can contact them (and them you). It’s never a good idea to walk home after a night out – but especially if you are alone. No money? See above for the Students’ Union Safe Taxi Scheme.

For more information, see Student Support.

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