click here to visit our Facebook page click here to visit our Twitter page click here to visit our Instagram page click here to visit our YouTube channel

Safety

PERSONAL RISK

The University of Bedfordshire campuses are supported by a 24/7 security team; however, good common sense plays a big role in ensuring that we stay safe on campus and in town. Here are some useful tips on how to stay safe:

  • Be aware that there are some people who are not as nice as they seem. Get to know them before inviting them into your surroundings.
  • Avoid walking or jogging on your own early in the morning or late at night when there are fewer people around.
  • Avoid walking on your own when out at night. If you are unable to be accompanied, then make sure you let somebody know where you’re going, how long it’s likely to take you to get to your destination and let them know when you have arrived safely.
  • Avoid using headphones when you are out and about at night. Being aware of your surroundings will help you stay alert to any potential danger.
  • Stay in well-lit and busy areas.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before going out.
  • Only carry the money that you will need for that particular day.
  • Don’t display cash or any other inviting targets such as expensive jewellery and gadgets.
  • If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open shop/restaurant or a well-lit house. Don’t be afraid to call or ask for help.
  • Try to park in a well-lit area with good visibility and close to walkways.

What to do if you are a victim of crime or your personal safety is at risk:

  1. If you consider your personal safety to be at immediate risk, you must contact the Police on 999 for support from the Emergency Services.
  2. It is important that you get yourself to a safe place. If you are on campus, please locate a member of staff or security if you are comfortable to do so.
  3. It is important to note down as much information about an incident at the soonest opportunity. You might want to consider keeping a log of what happened and include the times, dates, locations and any key information that you can remember.
  4. For non-emergencies, for example, to report a crime not currently in progress, you should call 101 with your information log at hand.
  5. It is important to know that there is help at the university if you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of an individual or a friend. You can find out how you can help here.

If you or someone you know needs support dealing with the trauma of an incident, then there are a number of services available to students within and outside of the university:


How can the SU help? We are able to provide you with a non-judgmental, confidential space to talk through your circumstances. We can also signpost you to places of support.


NIGHT SAFETY

A lot of us like to enjoy a night out every now and again over a few drinks with friends. Most of the time we do this safely without experiencing any direct harm to ourselves or others. However, we cannot ignore that alcohol (and other drugs) not only lowers our inhibitions, but impairs our judgement in a way that can make us more vulnerable and perhaps more likely to engage in risky behaviour that we wouldn’t ordinarily do.

At Beds SU, your safety and wellbeing is important to us as is you enjoying your university experience so, we have devised these handy tips we hope you will keep in mind to help keep yourself and your friends safe.

Preparation

  • Keep the pre-loading to a minimum and drink plenty of water.

  • Ensure your phone is fully charged before you head out drinking for the day and/or night and has enough call credit. A lot of bars/cafés have facilities to charge your phone and access Wi-Fi if you have no credit to text or call. Don’t be afraid to ask!

  • Have something to eat before going out, this will help line your stomach and prevent vomiting.

  • Alcohol actually lowers our core body temperature so make sure you stay warm in colder months no one likes queuing for a bar/club when it’s freezing outside!

Travel

  • Ensure everyone knows where to meet so nobody is left alone or ends up in the wrong place.
  • Never use an unlicensed taxi, wherever possible travel with friends and not on your own.
  • Message your friend to let them know you have reached your destination safely!
  • Keep your travel money separate to your drinking money!
  • Do not leave bar and clubs on your own always travel with people you know.
  • Under no circumstances accept a lift from anyone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs regardless of how sober they may seem. Our reactions are much slower the moment we introduce a substance into our bodies, even in the most experienced of drivers.

At the venue

  • Never leave your drink unattended in a bar or accept drinks from people you do not know even if it’s in good faith. Secure yourself from being potential spiking. More information about spiking can be found here.
  • If something doesn’t sit right with you it probably isn’t right. Trust your instincts. If your feel threatened in anyway, tell a friend, security staff, a member of venue staff or if needs be SHOUT!
  • Judgements are impaired under the influence of alcohol do not make any life changing decision until the following day when you are alcohol-free.
  • Do not leave your bag or personal belongings unattended whilst you nip to the toilet or dance floor!
  • If you are on a date and start to feel uncomfortable do not hesitate to alert a member of bar staff who will be able to call a taxi for you and help you to leave safely.
  • If a friend has so much to drink or has taken drugs and is sick or incoherent, alert a member of security or venue staff. They should ensure that they are placed in the recovery position before allowing them to fall asleep.
  • If you have major concerns about a friend, call 999 or request that an ambulance is called without delay. You will not be judged by the medical professionals if you have taken an illegal substance, everyone agrees it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • If you have taken an illegal substance it’s always good to tell someone you know you can trust, so they can keep an eye on you if you do suddenly become unwell.
  • Disagreements can get out of hand when under the influence. Try and agree to shelve the disagreement until the following day when everyone involved is alcohol-free and have calmed down. Losing your cool on a night out can have massive consequences to your University education and future career prospects – especially if you are planning to enter a profession like teaching or in health care. Think long term!
  • Keep hydrated! Drinking soft drinks between alcohol beverages can help keep you hydrated and prevent memory loss.
  • If you are going to have sex don’t wake up with more than a hangover! Sexually transmitted infections are spread more frequently amongst people under the age of 25. FREE condoms are available from Beds SU on request! Chlamydia testing is also available upon request as is signposting to other support agencies.

When you get home

  • Do not attempt to cook a meal when under the influence of alcohol as this increases the risk of fires.
  • Drink plenty of water and have a snack to avoid the headache the following day!
  • The only way to eliminate alcohol from your body is time, make sure you get plenty of rest after a night out.

For further information please take a look at the below reputable websites:


How can the SU help? We are able to provide you with a non-judgmental, confidential space to talk through your circumstances. We can also signpost you to places of support.


SEXUAL ASSAULT/ HARASSMENT

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any kind of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that makes you feel humiliated or intimidated, or that creates a hostile environment. When someone calls you insulting sexual names, talks about you in a sexual way that makes you feel uncomfortable (like commenting on your body), or spreads sexual rumours about you, that’s sexual harassment. It can happen in person, over the phone, or online. Sexual harassment can make you feel anxious, depressed and lead to other problems, such as difficulties sleeping.

Sexual Assault

If someone intentionally grabs or touches you in a sexual way that you don't like, or you’re forced to do something sexual against your will, that’s sexual assault. This includes sexual touching of any part of someone’s body, and it makes no difference whether you’re wearing clothes or not. Anybody can be sexually assaulted and all genders can commit sexual assault.


How can the SU help? Reaching out if you are being harassed, or after an assault can be daunting and we understand the courage it may take to do this. The Be Supported team is here to listen and help point you in the right direction for specialist advice and support. We are also able to advise you on relevant University Policies and Procedures, e.g. mitigating circumstances or the Student Code of Conduct to ensure that you remain supported in your studies.


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic abuse takes place within relationships or families where one person bullies or controls another. Abuse can affect people across society regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography.

Abuse may take many forms such as:

  • Stalking
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Harassment
  • Physical assault
  • Emotional abuse such as being prevented from seeing your friends and financial factors such as not having sufficient control over your money

How can the SU help? We know it takes immense courage to be able to come forward and seek help. The Be Supported team is here to listen and help point you in the right direction for specialist advice and support. We are also able to advise you on relevant University Policies and Procedures, e.g. mitigating circumstances or the Student Code of Conduct to ensure that you remain supported in your studies.


WORRIED ABOUT A FRIEND?

University should be a diverse, outward looking and inclusive place to study and live. Both the University and Beds SU actively promote respect, tolerance and inclusion as part of its core values. If you are concerned about a behaviour of an individual or a friend you can find out how you can help here.

 

FIRE

University days are amongst the best of your life. You’re away from home, possibly for the first time, and there’s a whole world of new experiences out there! Staying safe is however incredibly important.

Fires in the home are the main cause of fire deaths and injury. Every year people are put needlessly at risk from the effects of fire, yet this could easily be avoided by following simple yet effective steps which may not just prevent damage to your home, but one day save your life!

10 Top Tips

  • Test your fire alarm weekly.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Never attempt to cook while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Don’t overload plug sockets. Always use a multi-socket extension lead rather than an adapter plug.
  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances like phone chargers and hair straighteners when not in use.
  • Identify and practice an escape route.
  • Keep escape routes free from clutter.
  • Do not dry clothes on portable heaters.
  • If you do have a fire; get out, stay out and dial 999.