Student Safety

Student Safety banner

Police Scotland are working with Universities and colleges nationally to launch its Student Safety campaign to promote key messages to help students feel safe as term time comes to a start. 

The key messages of the campaign centre around six main safety areas which affect students; Home and Property, Online Safety, Party Safety, Identity Safety, Water Safety and Illicit Trade. 

Home/Property Safety 

  • Take care when arranging accommodation – don’t leave yourself open to fraud and find you’ve nowhere to live when you arrive.  Properly research any potential property.
  • Think about your level of security – are there working locks on doors and windows? Ensure you close them every time you go out.
  • Record details of all your valuables and mobile property, including phones, laptops, cameras and tablets at

Online Safety 

  • Always use passwords or PINS on mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops.
  • Use privacy settings on social networking sites and think carefully about who you make an online friend.
  • What goes online stays online – don’t leave yourself open to criminal charges or vulnerable to blackmail.  Think carefully about what you’re saying and pictures you are posting on social networking sites.
  • Find more information at GetSafeOnline

Party/Out and About Safety

  • Stick with friends and don’t leave parties or nights out with strangers – if you’re going home by taxi, call in advance and book one.
  • Be sensible about how much alcohol you drink – a drunk person is a far easier target for criminals, especially at places like cash machines.
  • Don’t take drugs or New Psychoactive Substances (so-called ‘legal highs’) – they are illegal and you don’t know what’s in them so why risk your life?
  • Fine more information at Young Scot's Information and Choices for Life pages

Identity Safety

  • Take a few moments to check through transactions on your bank statements.
  • If you're not happy and spot anything unusual or suspicious contact the bank directly to establish fraud at an early stage. If you are expecting correspondence from your bank and it doesn't arrive contact the bank immediately to inform them of your concerns.
  • Cancel any lost or stolen cards.
  • If your passport or driving license has been lost or stolen contact the organisation that issued it.
  • Don't use the same password for more than one account and never use banking passwords on other websites. Avoid using your mother's maiden name or dates of birth as passwords.
  • NEVER give bank details to anyone unless you know and trust them and even then be cautious.
  • Find more information at Get Safe Online's page on safeguarding your identity.

Water Safety 

  • When swimming in streams, burns and in the sea, members of the public should always be aware of their surroundings and ensure they are able to tread water safely and do not venture into areas that could prove problematic.
  • It is also advised to stay in supervised and public areas so that help is at hand should you experience any difficulties.
  • Reservoirs tend to be positioned away from built-up areas and are often very secluded. This means emergency services are further away from providing assistance during an urgent situation.
  • The water temperature in reservoirs is also likely to remain very cold, even on warm days and in larger pools, it can be almost impossible to determine how deep the water is.
  • In addition, many of these locations have steep banks as well as hidden water intakes. These can cause a current within the water, which then makes swimming conditions far more difficult.
  • Police Scotland would urge the public to avoid swimming or other forms of water sports on reservoirs and to safely and appropriately utilise the city's public and supervised locations instead.
  • Reservoir safety advice can be found by visiting the Scottish Water page on water safety

Illicit Trade

  • Keep yourself safe by only buying genuine products. Fake goods are not safety tested and can cause fires
  • Don’t buy fake alcohol, you don’t know what it contains and could cause blindness 
  • Don’t buy fake clothing, people are exploited and it funds organised crime 
  • Only watch genuine TV, illicit streaming devices are not good for genuine trade. Downloading illegal content will leave you at risk of virus and malware. 

Student Safety booklet 717

Focusing on 16 to 25 year olds, the campaign provides safety messages to a group who can be vulnerable to the criminal activity.

Being a student can be an exciting time, moving into student halls and flats, making new friends and enjoying a new found freedom. 

Moving from home to an unfamiliar place, increased alcohol consumption and late nights, students might find themselves victims of crime. Owning expensive items such as iPads and laptops, the unguarded can be easy prey to thieves.

The campaign aims to increase awareness for their own personal security and belongs to ensure students have the best start to student life.

Police Scotland therefore urges students to party safe, look after their friends, be sensible with how much they drink and avoid illegal drugs or New Psychoactive Substances.

Police Scotland urges students to look after their financial records, passwords, cards, passports and driving licences to ensure they don’t become a victim to identity theft. The campaign advises students on staying safe online and how not to get caught out.

You can find out more about Police Scotland’s safety tips for students in last year's Student Safety Guide.

Our Instagram account is providing lots of #StudentLife tips and advice which you can follow at

You can also follow the #StudentLife campaign on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

In providing as much easy to digest information as possible on how students can enjoy Scotland during their time here through simple explanations of some of our laws, the 'Guide to Scots Law' booklet has been produced in partnership with New College Lanarkshire and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service in assisting this understanding. The booklet is available in several languages on this page, and has been included within the Student Safety campaign as an additional resource available.


Party Safe - Information on how you can stay safe on a night out.

Substance Misuse - Information about illegal drug, New Psychoactive Substance and Solvent abuse.

Identity Theft, Fraud and Scams - Learn more about how you can stay safe from identity theft.

Keep Safe Online - How to keep safe online and information on why you should think carefully about your online activity.

Student Safety Guide - A guide to safe student living.

Related Documents

PDF files on this page require a PDF reader, such as the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (download).

If you would like this information in an alternative format or language - please phone us on 101 to discuss your needs.