As we re-entered the sphere of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and got an extra hour in bed I’m sure the change didn’t feel too bad, but as the seasons turn and we enter the winter months, the long drawn out nights really can make it feel like we’ve gone north of the wall.
While the whys and wherefores of changing clocks are interesting, more importantly is to remind you of some essential safety messages for when on and around campus as the nights get darker, for longer.
As we get settled into the semester and summer fades into the distance we are also sharing some top tips on personal security from our Police Liaison Officer Mark Fox – who you may spot around our campus’ from time to time.
Across the University and in our Halls of Residence we have 24 Hour Security who should be your first point of contact in an emergency.
While on campus you should report any suspicious behaviour to security and be alert to building access – if you feel someone shouldn’t be entering with you, don’t be afraid to ask for ID, however don’t put yourself at risk or go beyond this – report it to security and they will take appropriate action.
If you notice anything suspicious or feel anxious about going between buildings or your vehicle, then let security know and they can arrange for an escort. Our full Safety and Security Advice Guide is worth review for more detailed information.
While out and about off campus using your common sense is important. The below tips from Mark Fox, our Universities Police Liaison Officer, are applicable at any time of year but particularly notable now it’s winter.
- When travelling about have a plan and try to do it in groups. If you are alone try use public transport – where you should sit near the driver / other people - or getting a taxi – always make sure it’s your taxi, sit behind the driver and make a note of the badge details.
- When out, watch your drinks, take them to the toilet with you or leave them with a friend. Watch out for your friends and be aware of the help available – SIA approved door staff, Ambassadors who patrol Leeds’s nightlife areas on Friday and Saturday nights as well as Street Angles.
- Use the ‘find my friend’ app if lost in a bar / club. It uses GPS to help you track people down.
- Be mindful using phones when walking about, especially at night and with headphones in. The light of the phone, and the fact you won’t be able to hear anyone approaching you makes you a target.
When chatting to Mark he indicated that while on duty he sometimes goes around student areas and will go into properties where doors / windows are left open, stack up valuables and then present himself to the tenants and states to them he could have been a burglar, this demonstrates to them the importance of keeping windows and doors shut and locked – you have been warned.