UCL News


Staying safe during the festive season

5 December 2022

Tips and resources to help you stay safe at UCL and in London while you enjoy the festive season.

Snow Quad

As the evenings draw in and the days grow shorter, it is tempting to stay home and hibernate. However, London is a city full of wonderful winter activities that you can get out and enjoy! 

We have pulled together a list of tips to help you stay safe at UCL and in London in the buildup to the winter break, to help you get the most out of the festive season. 

When it comes to staying safe in London, the best advice is to just be cautious and use your common sense and always carry your UCL ID with you. Remember, if something doesn’t feel right, walk away.   

Be aware 

Thinking proactively and understanding what to look out for can help keep you and your belongings safe. 

  • Always be aware of your surroundings when using your phone. Phone snatching is, unfortunately, a common crime and hotspots around UCL include Gordon Street, Gower Street and transport hubs like stations – you can find more tips in our recent article on phone snatching  
  • Avoid walking alone at night and stay in well-lit areas  
  • Never leave your personal items unattended in public places, including in UCL campus buildings such as libraries and refectories  

Download the SafeZone app 

SafeZone is a widely used safety app that allows all our students and staff to contact UCL Security and to request emergency support at the touch of a button at any time of day. Download the app and register with your UCL email address: 

On a night out 

There are practical steps you can take to keep yourself safe. 

  • Never leave your drink unattended  
  • Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know or that hasn’t been prepared in front of you 
  • If you’re in a venue run by Student’s Union UCL, you can ask for a drink protector if you’re worried about being spiked. In addition, many bars are part of the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative, where you can discreetly ask for help if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe – please read our article about drink spiking for more information and to find out what to do if you think you or a friend have been spiked 
  • Stick together with friends and look out for each other 
  • Agree with your friends that you’ll let each other know when you get home safely  

Outdoor exercise 

Regularly exercising during the colder months helps to boost your immune system and your mood 

  • Dress in layers 
  • Be visible - wear illuminated or reflective clothing 
  • Run with a running group or friends if you can 

Find out more about how to get active with Students’ Union UCL


We believe that bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct are never okay. If you experience or see something that is not right, you can report anonymously, or with your contact details using Report+Support. When you report an incident and notify the team at UCL, we can take swift action to resolve any issues. 


Visit askUCL, our self-help centre and student enquiry system designed to streamline the way we handle your enquiries. Have a question? Just askUCL