Starting university or college can mean some significant life changes - making new friends, studying in a new town, going out to new places and living independently for the first time. However, some of these changes could also increase your risk of becoming a victim of crime.
START OUT IN THE SAFEST WAY POSSIBLE
Take some simple steps to protect yourself, your property and above all keep safe. Click the buttons below to learn more.
- 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.
- Make sure potential landlords have the appropriate local authority licence. Landlords of student flats may need a licence for a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’, which aims to ensure that the accommodation is safe, well managed and of good quality. Visit The Scottish Government website
for more information.
- 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 Immobilise.
- Take out contents insurance for your property.
- 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.
- 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 unusual or illegal activity 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.
- Try to use different passwords for all your online accounts, such as joining three random words together then add numbers and symbols. For example house@cat£Plan3t. Avoid using easy to find information such as 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.
- NEVER let anyone use you details to open up a bank account or use your bank account to move money. Even if they offer you great incentives to do so!
- Keep yourself safe by only buying genuine products. Fake goods are not safety tested and can cause fires.For more information about online safety and security go to www.getsafeonline.org.
- Check out our Mandate Fraud document, which gives advice on beating this common online scam, and which you can download here.
- Keep your mobile phone out of sight and don’t attract attention to it when not in use.
- Keep a record of the 15 digit IMEI number which is unique to the device and record it on Immobilise. To find the IMEI number, dial *#06#.
- Don’t leave possessions unattended, even in the library.
- Stay alert at cash machines. Hide your PIN, be aware of who’s behind you and don’t flash your cash.
- When walking home, keep to well-lit, busy areas and never take isolated shortcuts. Try and never walk home alone.
- Have keys ready when you’re approaching the car or your accommodation.
- Always call and book a taxi from a reputable licensed private hire/taxi firm and make sure the vehicle pulling up is definitely your hire before you get into it.
When out and about on your bike:
- Lock your bike up every time you leave it using secure locks (i.e. D-locks or thick cable locks).
- Ideally, use two different types of lock – this makes it harder to steal.
- Fasten your bike through the frame and wheel to a fixed object.
- Lock your bike in a busy, well-lit place, in view of people or CCTV cameras.
- Make the lock and bike hard to move when parked.
- Remove bike accessories.
- Vary your routine - lock up your bike in different ways & places.
Every 9 minutes Police Scotland responds to a call of Domestic Abuse.
Domestic abuse is "Any form of physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or financial abuse which might amount to criminal conduct and which takes place within the context of a relationship. The relationship will be between partners (married, cohabiting, civil partnership or otherwise) or ex-partners. The abuse may be committed in the home or elsewhere including online". Abusers and victims can be any gender, race or religion and from all different backgrounds.
How to report:
Victims, witnesses or those with concerns regarding a victim of domestic abuse can report via:
For more information on Domestic Abuse and other organisations you can contact for support, click here.
- At your local police station, via 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.
- If unable to attend a station (or you prefer to remain anonymous) you can submit the form online.
- Download a form and post it to: Domestic Abuse Coordination Unit, Police Scotland, Clyde Gateway, 2 French Street, Dalmarnock, Glasgow G40 4EH
- The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland aims to prevent domestic abuse by empowering both men and women with the right to ask about the background of their new partner. It also allows concerned members of the public, such as relatives and friends, to make enquiries about someone’s partner if they are concerned that person has been abusive in the past.
- Reporting incidents helps Police Scotland to tackle domestic abuse. Your information helps us to respond more effectively to target perpetrators and improve the safety of victims, their families and friends.
- Socialising is a major part of student life. Keep these simple steps in mind when partying.
- Plan your night out including how to get home.
- Take your mobile phone with you and make sure it’s charged.
- If you leave a drink unattended then don’t go back to it.
- Be sensible about how much alcohol you drink - a drunk person is more vulnerable and an easier target for criminals.
- If you feel very drunk or unwell, ask a trusted friend or a member of the club or management to help.
- Drink responsibly and remember that your actions impact on others - alcohol can reduce self-control…..know your limits.
- Avoid getting involved in anti-social behaviour or violent confrontation, remember even one punch can have fatal consequences and ruin two lives.
- Stick with friends and avoid leaving parties or nights out with strangers, look after one another and make sure you all get home safely…..avoid travelling alone.
- Look after bags and valuables. Don’t attract attention to your phone, especially if under the influence of alcohol.
- Keep enough money to pay for your journey home.
- Never drive under the influence of drink or drugs.
- It is an offence in Scotland to perform a sexual act with/on anyone without their consent, this includes when a person is under the influence or alcohol/drugs and incapable of giving consent.
- Without consent it’s not sex, its rape.
- Using illegal drugs, illicit substances or other non-prescription medicines endangers your health and your life; there is no real way of knowing exactly what you are taking or how your body will react. They can contain unknown chemicals which can be harmful, even fatal.
- Mixing drugs and alcohol can produce chemical reactions which you cannot control. Why jeopardise your health and safety?
- Possessing illegal drugs can have legal consequences, affecting the rest of your life. Why jeopardise your future career or travel opportunities with a drug conviction? Find out more at Know the Score
or Young Scot.