Crime prevention

Your safety is important to us.

Campus is usually a really safe place to be – and the University Security and our very own campus Police Officer are here to make sure it stays that way.

However, it’s really important that you take your own personal safety seriously and that you’re aware of the potential for crime around your accommodation, on campus and in the local area.

1 in 3 students become a victim of crime each year - so, it’s important to not only think about safety in your home and local area, but also looking after yourself when you’re out and about.

New streets and a new area can be unfamiliar surroundings. Not only do you have to think about security at home, but also whilst you’re out and about too:

  • Getting a taxi back after a night out is safest all round. Try not to travel alone, and most importantly don’t walk back through unfamiliar areas. Drink makes you are less aware of your surroundings and therefore vulnerable!
  • Castle Cars are the only taxi firm that the University of Birmingham endorses. In emergencies, you can use your University ID card as payment (up to £10) if you have no money but need to get home safely. Tel: 0121 472 2222
  • It is a good idea not to give the impression everyone is going out for the night – you never know who is watching! One tip is to call back into the house as if telling someone you're off out.
  • Money – withdraw cash in advance of your night out or get cash back at a supermarket. Using street cash machines, especially if you are on your own, is best avoided. Never write down your pin.
  • Cards – Keep a separate note of your bank’s emergency lost or stolen card telephone number (found on the back of your card), account number and sort code so you can cancel them quickly.
  • Using your mobile phone in the street advertises it, as phones are valuable to thieves - exposing you to a greater risk of robbery.
  • If carrying a rucksack, wear it over both arms. If carrying a holdall wear this across the body. It makes them harder to snatch
  • Laptops are a valuable commodity to thieves, so if you are carrying a laptop, make sure your bag isn’t too conspicuous. Try to disguise that you are carrying a laptop by not using a typical laptop bag.
  • If you wear headphones when walking out and about alone, preferably try and make sure they are black. White headphones attract thieves and make you susceptible to robbery.
  • When you’re on a night out, don’t leave your drinks unattended and don’t accept drinks from strangers, unless you are with them when they’re ordered from the bar and you can see it’s safe.
  • Carry a personal safety alarm – if you live in accommodation then you can get one of these for FREE from the Mentor Welfare Office (your Student Mentors). If you live in Selly Oak, then please speak to your Community Warden Scheme.
  • Mark valuables with a UV pen - stating your surname, city and ID number
  • ALWAYS lock the doors and windows of your flat/house
  • Avoid leaving things – particularly valuable items like phones and laptops - on display
  • Don’t allow people to follow you in through access code locked or swipe entry doors

You can contact University Security by simply dialling 4444 from your room phone or 0121 414 4444 from any other phone. Residences now all have 24 hour security and CCTV to increase your safety.

  • When moving in or out of your house, don’t leave your car unlocked, even for a few seconds. Criminals know when students will be moving in and out and will be watching for unsecure cars.
  • Remove all valuables from inside of your car and take these with you. If they are too bulky, lock them in the boot and keep them out of sight.
  • If your sat-nav holder is stuck to the windscreen, remove it, wipe off the sucker mark and leave the glove box open. This may seem a little long-winded, but a thief will notice this and take the opportunity to break and see if think a sat nav is hidden inside the car.
  • Trailing wires for iPod’s and sat-navs are an invitation for a thief to look further. Tuck all wires away or take them with you • Leave your glove box open to show that there are no valuables hidden in the car.
  • Park in a well-lit spot, preferably under a street light where possible.
  • Tamper proof screws fitted to your number plate will prevent theft & cloning of your plate. Pop to the local garage and ask them fit some.

Safety isn’t just about you whilst you’re out and about riding…but keeping your bike safe too!

Your bike’s safety

A number of bikes have been stolen on campus or accommodation sites during the last academic year.

This can be easily prevented.

If you lock your bike with a D-Lock in an allocated area, then you will significantly reduce the likelihood of your bike being stolen.

If your bike is not locked in an allocated area, then security have the authority to remove your bike.

You can purchase a D-Lock from the following places:

  • Security reception (number 24 on the site map) for £18
  • Urban Cycles at University Centre for £22.50 with a life time guarantee/key replacement and a 4ft cable extension.

You can also hire a bike (including a D-Lock) for a term or the academic year, from UoB Transport, in partnership with Urban Cycles. Please contact sustainabletravel@contacts.bham.ac.uk for more details.

Your safety

  • Protect your head – wear a helmet
  • Stay visible – use lights!
  • Look, signal, look again – use hand signals to let drivers know where you’re going
  • Stay alert
  • Go with the flow – cycle in the direction of the traffic
  • Act like a car – don’t weave in and out of traffic
  • Don’t get distracted – don’t listen to music or talk on your phone
  • Obey all traffic laws and lights
  • Assure bicycle readiness
  • Do a quick bicycle test – check your brakes and wheels

Despite students being more prepared for living in the private rental sector, you’re unfortunately still more likely to be burgled than other sets of people. Students are often targeted as you tend to be a lot of valuable items (laptops, tvs, phones & tablets, just for starters!) in your houses. Shared houses and student areas can be an attractive target for burglars!

Selly Watch helps keep you one step ahead of a burglar, by letting you know what’s happening in your area.

Selly Watch is here to arm you with the knowledge and awareness you need to enjoy your time at University crime-free. The scheme’s website gives you all the information, contacts, facts and figures about crime in Selly, tip on how to prevent it and guidance about what to do if you’re a victim.

You can also sign up to the free Selly Watch text & email services to get regular and relevant alerts!

www.guild.bham.ac.uk/sellywatch

For further information about support in your neighbourhood visit Community Wardens

It’s important that you protect yourself from fires in your home. We’ve put together some handy tips to keep you safe, which you can read here.

Most importantly - if you discover a fire in your house, get out, stay out and dial 999.

Community Wardens also work with West Midlands Fire Service to ensure you’re living in safe homes. If you have any concerns or doubts with regards to Fire Safety please contact us. We carry out visits and make referrals to West Midlands Fire Service.

Centro, West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and local Transport Operators make up the Safer Travel Partnership, which exists to make public transport in the West Midlands even safer. Whilst the public transport network enjoys a very low crime rate, the Safer Travel Partnership is committed to making it even safer and importantly making people, including students, feel safe.

To achieve this intelligence is gathered from a variety of sources to identify areas of the network that maybe vulnerable to crime, anti-social behaviour and nuisance behaviour. The Partnership uses information gathered to engage in numerous activities to address issues including reassurance and enforcement patrols, work with the Guild and local community, as well as covert operations.

see something, say something, together we can make travel safer

Safer Students - crime prevention and safety advice for students from West Midlands Police.

The Lock - NUS's interactive crime prevention website for students.

The Site.org - information on crime prevention provided by YouthNet UK, a registered charity.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust - personal safety tips from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

CONTACT US

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Meet your officer team

Every year, a team of Officers are elected by YOU to help you get the best out of Birmingham. Each officer leads a different part of the Union on your behalf – click on their faces below to find out what they do and how to get in touch…

Ellie Keiller - Guild President
Shannon Farmer - Activities & Development Full Time Officer
Adam Goldstone - Education Full Time Officer
Kris Ali - Housing & Community Full Time Officer
Rose Bennett - Postgraduate Full Time Officer
Jess Levy - Representation & Resources Full Time Officer
Helena Bailey - Sports Full Time Officer
Henny Green - Welfare Full Time Officer

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