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Crime prevention advice

Personal safety

Tips and advice

We've put together some tips and advice on how to keep yourself safe and avoid becoming a victim of crime:

  • stay in bright, well lit and busy areas
  • try to look and act confident - look like you know where you're going and walk tall
  • spread your valuables around your body (eg keep your phone in your bag, keys in your pocket and wallet inside your jacket)
  • don't put your valuables on show - talking on your mobile is an invitation for a thief

Young people

  • tell other people what your plans are
  • always take care when walking on your own or using public transport
  • be careful with your personal possessions, especially your mobile phone and MP3 player


Every year one in three students becomes a victim of crime at university. Robbery and mobile phone theft are the most common crimes against students.

  • always keep your flat or room locked, even if you're not going out for long
  • don't leave notes on your door saying 'back in five minutes', that's an open invitation for thieves

Older people

If you're an older person, you have a higher chance of being targeted by bogus callers (people who knock on your door pretending they're from the water board). They often create a distraction while their accomplice robs the property.

Travelling abroad

You should follow the tips below to avoid crime ruining your holiday (these tips will also keep safe at home):

  • find out the British consulate's phone number before you go
  • go armed with some phrases in case you get into trouble
  • keep photocopies of important documents (eg passports) separate from originals, and tell the consulate immediately if anything is stolen
  • tell the consulate if you're assaulted, especially if you have to go to hospital
  • never travel without insurance
  • if you're driving a vehicle on your holiday, check the road rules before you go
  • it's a legal requirement to display a GB sticker when driving your own car overseas

Drugs advice

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is the main legislation covering drugs. It puts drug into different categories, known as Class A, B and C. Drugs regulated in this way are known as 'controlled' substances. Class A drugs are those considered to be the most harmful.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, it's an offence to:

  • possess a controlled substance
  • possess a controlled substance with the intent to supply
  • unlawfully supply a controlled drug (even when there's no charge made for the drug)
  • allow premises you occupy or manage to be used for the purpose of drug taking

Useful information

The websites below provide information to help you reduce the risk of being a victim to crime:

  • BBC - provides advice on protecting you and your family; offers interactive quizzes on protecting your car and your home
  • Metropolitan Police - advice on protecting yourself
  • The Suzy Lamplugh Trust - national charity providing practical personal safety advice
  • Help the Aged - provides range of services to older people

Page last updated: 22 September 2021


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