Keeping safe on and off campus

Safety advice for staff, students and visitors

Helping You Stay Safe

The University of Birmingham is a great place to live and work and has a very low crime rate. A small amount of opportunist crime does occur however and in the vast majority of cases these are avoidable if students take simple precautions.

Help and advice is always available. Security staff are available 24 hour a day all year round. The Security Office is located at the rear of Aston Webb B Block immediately off the South Ring Road.

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Security Services hold regular UB Safe crime prevention events in conjunction with West Midlands Police and the Selly Oak Community wardens. Come along to meet the team, get safety advice and get some UB Safe freebies.

  • 14th and 15th October 2014, 11.00 - 3.00, I-Lounge, Main Library
  • 18th and 19th November 2014, 11.00 - 3.00, Arts Foyer

Security Services have produced a simple guide that will give you some easy but effective advice on keeping yourself and your belongings safe whilst you are here : 

 Security and Safety when off campus 

  • Stick to well lit and well used areas. Do not take short cuts through dark and remote alleyways, parks or wasteland. Walk briskly and with confidence. Walk along the pavement facing oncoming traffic but keep back from the curb. Keep clear of recesses such as doorways.
  • Where possible, go out in a group and come home in a group.
  • Be alert to your surroundings. Don’t walk along whilst chatting on your mobile phone or with earphones in. Keep your valuables out of sight and have a discreet ring tone on your mobile phone
  • If you have concerns about a group of people or a particular situation, keep away.
  • Be especially vigilant when taking cash out at cash dispensers.
  • Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. Carry your keys in your pocket. If someone attempts to grab your property let it go.
  • If you think you are being followed check by crossing the street. If you are worried go to the nearest place where there are other people and call the police. Do not use a phone box
  • Excess alcohol will blur your judgment and senses and make you more vulnerable.
  • Keep a watch on your drink and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know well. Ask a friend to watch your drink if you have to leave it for a moment
  • Carry a personal attack alarm. You can get these free from the police surgery at University Centre on Wednesdays between 12.00 and 3.00. However, do not rely on an alarm to alert help. You still need to keep yourself safe.
  • Be wary of meeting anyone on your own if you don’t know them well.
  • Only carry enough cash and credit cards for your immediate needs.

Looking after your property 

  • Make sure your valuables are property marked. The police can do this at the police surgery in University Centre on Wednesdays between 12.00 and 3.00.
  • If you ride a bicycle always lock it with a D-Lock. You can buy these from Security reception or the Police Surgery for £15.
  • Property is at risk when unattended, particularly in unlocked rooms, changing rooms, sports fields and in study areas. Always keep your property with you or secure and out of sight.
  • Register your electronic equipment with Immobilise.
  • Back up work from your laptop on to a memory stick. If your laptop goes don’t let your work go with it.
  • Make sure your property is properly insured

 Security Online

  • Never give banking or personal details in response to unsolicited approaches by email, text or telephone.
  • Keep secure any documents with personal information on.  Always shred or destroy any documents containing personal information.  Never place them in your bin.
  • Keep PIN numbers and passwords secure.  Never divulge them or write them where they can be seen. Legitimate organisations will never ask for PIN numbers.  They will not ask for a password if they have rung you.  Change passwords regularly. 
  • Make sure your computer and your mobile phone have anti-virus and anti-malware security software. Scammers can do a lot of damage by the back door without you knowing.
  • Never respond to unsolicited mails and do not click on any links contained in an unsolicited mail.
  • Check bank and credit card statements and check your credit report regularly.  Look carefully for anything unusual and report it immediately.
  • Never send money to people you have met online if you do not know them personally.  Sob stories are often used to part you from your cash (e.g. young daughter desperate for an operation etc).  Never agree to keep an online relationship secret.
  • Be aware of competitions and trivia quizzes which encourage you to enter personal details, send text messages or click on links with the offer of attractive prizes.  If you win a competition, you should never have to pay money or purchase goods to collect prizes.
  • Only shop on secure websites.  Before entering card details ensure that the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol is showing on your browser.
  • Too good to be true deals are just that and there are no get rich quick schemes that work.  These are scams.  If it was that easy, we'd all be rich.
  • Take care over your social media presence and how information can be used.  Don't say anything that you wouldn't shout out in a crowded place or say to someone's face.  Harassing someone using social media is a criminal offence.
  • Redirect your post for at least a year when you move home.  Install a secure mailbox if your post could be intercepted when it's delivered.
  • Cancel unused accounts that might be hijacked by an identity thief.
  • Register to vote at your current address so a criminal can't register elsewhere in your name and use it as a proof of residence.
  • Learn how to protect yourself, your family and your business online Cyberstreetwise
  • For safety and security while online visit Get Safe Online
  • Don't be afraid to report a scam.  Contact Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 
  • For further advice regarding Online Security visit the IT Services, Security pages

 Security and Safety whilst travelling

  • Book taxis in advance and make sure you check the name you gave the cab firm with the driver. Check the price of the journey before you get in. Never get into a taxi that stops to offer you a lift. Only taxis with an illuminated sign on the roof or black cabs should be hailed in the street. Don’t give personal information to taxi drivers. Sit in the back, have your fare ready, exit the cab and then pay the driver.
  • When driving, keep your doors locked. Make sure you have plenty of fuel and always leave plenty of space between you and the car in front. If you think you are being followed, drive to a police station or somewhere where there are lots of people. Don’t leave valuables on display in your car. Park near good lighting and have your key ready as you approach the car.
  • Plan your route before you go anywhere. Avoid getting or looking lost. Have your ticket to hand for when you need it.
  • On public transport sit near groups of other people or the driver/guard.
  • Does anyone else know where you are and where you are going? Do your friends know what to do if they don’t hear from you? Have you told them of any change of plans?

Security whilst in accommodation

University accommodation is generally very safe. Once again however, simple precautions will help to keep you and your property safe.

  • When you approach your accommodation, make sure you have your keys in your hand ready so that you can get in quickly.
  • Close windows and lock doors when you are not in your room, even if this is only for short period of time such as a trip to the bathroom. It only takes seconds to steal something.
  • Keep personal property secure and out of site when you are not in your room.
  • Ask the police to property mark your valuables.
  • If you are concerned about strangers in your accommodation, politely challenge them or call Security if you are worried. Many thefts are carried out by ‘walk in’ thieves.
  • Be courteous and considerate towards your neighbours and look out for each other.
  • If you notice any fire or safety hazards make sure you report these to the Accommodation office.
  • Make sure you are fully aware of the rules and regulations that apply to your tenancy.
  • The University has a strong policy on drug use. Cannabis is still illegal and is not a risk free drug.

 Other useful contacts 

You may find these other contacts useful:

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