Clocks go back on the Sunday 29 October which means that it will be darker earlier in the day, and so it’s a good time to share our top tips for staying safe on campus and when you’re travelling to and from it.
Keep your belongings in your pocket and stay alert when travelling to or from campus and whilst you’re on it, particularly when it’s dark. Like in any big city, sometimes theft happens, but if your phone is safely in your pocket or bag you can keep any risk to a minimum. Similarly when you’re on campus; whether you’re relaxing in a café or studying in the library don’t leave your belongings on show or unattended – even for a couple of minutes.
We also recommend that you stick to well-lit roads and pavements as you travel around the city and avoid using underpasses where possible. If you wear noise cancelling headphones make sure to change the settings so you can still hear your surroundings whilst you’re out and about.
Our mobile app SafeZone can be used to quickly connect you with our Campus Support and Security team if you feel unsafe, need immediate help or require first aid or wellbeing assistance. The app is free to download, easy to use, and operates across not just on our campus and accommodation areas, but also MMU and Salford campuses. We really encourage all students to download and make the most of this brilliant app. Find out more about SafeZone.
Remember Campus Safety and Security are here to help you 24/7
With around 85 members of staff, the team’s priority is your welfare. If you need help on campus, whatever that may be, you can approach a member of staff or contact them via the SafeZone app or the number on the back of your ID card. They’re on hand to help you with things such as first aid, directions, and any other security issues.
Travel with mates
If you’re nervous about travelling alone then why not check in with a friend and see if you can go together. Especially if you’re planning a night out, chat to your mates and see how you’re getting to and from wherever you’re going and keep an eye out for anyone travelling alone.
If you do travel on your own, make sure to let someone know when you expect to be back and your intended route. You could even share your location using one of the safety apps mentioned below so you can keep an eye on each other.
Other apps for extra peace of mind
While the evenings are getting lighter, you might find yourself travelling alone when it’s dark if you work late or attend events. There are other apps that can help keep you safe if you are travelling further outside of campus. My SafetiPin, the highest-rated app designed to keep women safe which uses your GPS location to help calculate the best routes to get you from A to B. bSafe
has a range of features, such as an SOS button, which can be activated by touch or voice and records your surroundings to send to your chosen contacts, and lets you invite your contacts to follow your location via GPS. There’s also a Fake Call feature, which you can use to make your phone ring to get you out of situations you’re unsure of. Want to know more about safety apps? Check out our article from last year about the best apps to download.
Report unacceptable behaviour
At Manchester we have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment, discrimination, gender-based violence, hate or micro-aggressions. If you have witnessed any forms of this behaviour, or have a safeguarding concern, you can report it anonymously or get support from a trained advisor. Find out more about Report + Support.
We encourage students to discuss incidents with the police when they happen, where you can access specialist support and decide whether you would like to engage with a formal reporting process. If you are in danger or it’s an emergency please call 999, otherwise you can call 101, visit your local police station or report the incident online.
Looking after yourself
We know that life can sometimes bring its own challenges. If you’re struggling or feeling anxious about your safety or you’re feeling apprehensive about travel to and from campus and around the city, we’re here to help.
Sometimes we all need to let it out and talking to someone you trust or speaking to a friend can really help alleviate your worries. See if there’s someone you live with, on your course or a friend from home that is free to have a chat.
If that doesn’t work for you, don’t forget that our mental health support is available to you all year round, from one to one appointments to one-off workshops and online help, there’s something for everyone. There’s also further support on our student support website which has lots of free resources on how to keep yourself safe.