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Staying safe on a night out

10 July 2019

The UCL Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Team give you their top tips on staying safe on a night out in London.

night out

London is a great city to spend an evening in and is filled with lots of places to go; restaurants, bars, clubs and theatres. The list is endless, London is always buzzing with activity as it is often very busy with a high footfall of people. However, there are some good practices to have when exploring the city, particularly at night. Follow these tips to ensure a safe night:

  • Try to plan ahead. Make sure someone knows where you are going, who you are meeting and when you expect to return. Always plan how you are going to get home again.
  • If you are socializing with a group of people, then watch out for each other and make sure everyone stays safe.
  • If you are out at night, try to stick to busy streets and near other people. Avoid danger spots such as poorly-lit areas, deserted parks, or quiet alleyways.
  • Ensure you are aware of your surroundings at night. If you are on a bus at night, it may be safer to sit in the lower deck. If on the underground or train at night, try to sit with other people to avoid empty carriages. 
  • Avoid carrying huge amounts of money with you. Try to take the amount you think you will need.
  • Don’t leave any drinks unattended as this may increase the possibility of your drink being spiked. Spiking is a term used that refers to when a drug or substance is added to your drink without your knowledge. Spiking can happen to both men and women. Criminals do this in order to commit a crime against you such as theft, robbery or sexual assault. For these reasons also avoid accepting drinks from strangers. If you need to leave your drink for whatever reason, ask your friends to watch your drink. For more information about drink spiking please see this link by the NHS.
  • Walk with confidence and purpose. This way you will not come across like a victim.
  • Keep your belongings hidden and keep your bag in front of you, not behind you. Many places have Chelsea clips under the tables to be able to hang your bag so use them!
  • Consider carrying a personal panic alarm. You can contact us, UCL Security or local police for advice on where to purchase one.
  • If you see someone in trouble, think twice about trying to help. Calling for help might be better depending on the situation.
  • Try to travel back with friends.
  • Think about the risks before inviting someone you have just met into your room. 

UCL Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Team