7 tips to staying safe on and around campus

3 December 2020

UCL has 24/7 security cover. In today's article, UCL’s Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Advisor is here to lend their expertise and give you their top 6 tips to staying safe on and around campus.

staying safe

UCL is a safe university and does not have a high crime rate; however, crime can occur as we are based in central London, making parts of the university open to the public. The majority of crime in and around the campus tends to involve unattended valuables including phones, laptops, bags, and bicycles. Here are some tips to prevent you becoming a victim of crime on campus:

  1. Keep your valuables with you at all times at UCL. If you are studying in the library and you need to leave your study space (even for a few minutes), take your laptop with you or if you are with a friend ask them to keep an eye on your things. 
  2. Register your belongings. You can register your property for free with Immobilise, which is useful not only for phones but also for laptops, tablets, and bikes.
  3. Always trust your gut instinct. If you see anything or anyone suspicious or get a bad feeling, tell someone. Report it to campus security. You will see us everywhere!
  4. Don’t get distracted. We have had incidents where thieves have entered our cafes and bars before, using the pretence of asking for directions or help from students, then taking the students phone without them noticing. If someone you don’t know approaches you, get into the simple habit of putting your phone away to keep it safe.
  5. Stranger danger! OK, so we are not 5 years old anymore, but the principle still applies, as we have seen an increase in street harassment incidents towards our students. Be very careful about engaging with strangers who approach you on the street. Please don’t give out your name, mobile number or address. If you are being followed or hassled, please ask Security on campus, or go into shop or station off campus and ask for help from staff or call Police on 999 straight away.
  6. Keep your bike safe on campus. We recommend using two locks - a D lock and a chain lock. Please use the official bike racks across the campus, many of the larger bike racks are covered by CCTV so are more secure than off-campus bike parking. It is always a good idea to get your bike security marked at BikeRegister.com.
  7. Carry your ID with you at all times and do not lend it to anyone else. Please watch out for people tailgating you in to secure parts of campus. If someone does this please alert Security immediately as they might be there to commit crime. 

How to contact UCL Security 

UCL has 24/7 Security cover. The office is on the ground floor of Foster Court, Malet Place (feel free to pop in!) 

If you see anything that causes you concern on campus, then please inform UCL Security using the following details:

  • In an emergency the Security number from a landline is 222
  • In an emergency, the Security number from a mobile is +44 (0)20 7679 2222
  • For non-emergency Security support please call +44 (0)20 7679 3108

Last revised: 8 September 2021.

Sophie Bimson, UCL's Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Adviser