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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Personal safety

Here are some simple steps you can take to stay safe when out, especially at night:

  • Let someone know where you are going.
  • Plan ahead and know how you are going to get home at the end of a night out.
  • Take a mobile phone with you.
  • Ensure you have the numbers of some local taxi firms.
  • Always leave a restaurant/club/pub with a friend or group of friends. Do not walk home alone or let others do so.
  • Carry a personal alarm with you.
  • Do not walk home by the river at night.
  • Use the Students’ Union Nightbus service in Durham City (for more info see

Look out for each other in College and when living out and if you have any concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a friend contact your College office immediately.

Keeping your belongings safe

There are some obvious steps you can take to keep your possessions safe, such as closing and locking all doors and windows when you leave your college room or your house/flat, ensuring that you keep cash and valuables out of sight in accommodation and avoiding using your mobile phone in isolated places. Unfortunately crime cannot be completely prevented but you can ensure you have adequate personal belongings insurance, that you mark your possessions with a UV pen and that you register the serial numbers of your electronic equipment (a free UK-wide national property register supported and used by the UK police forces).

The NUS’s “The Lock” campaign also provides some practical advice and guidance on minimising some risks to your own personal safety.

Sexual health and wellbeing

The NHS Choices hub on sexual health provides information on topics such as contraception, sex and young people, STIs and chlamydia. If you want to talk to someone about sexual health you should make an appointment at one of the healthcare or GP Services.

Sexual misconduct

Sexual violence and misconduct is an issue of international concern affecting all universities. For more information on this and details of where to find support, visit:

Hate Crime

Hate crimes and incidents take many different forms. They are targeted because of hostility/prejudice towards a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. For more information on hate crime and how you can report, visit True Vision website.

Online safety

The internet and social media are increasingly a large part of student life, used for organising events, sharing news and researching work. It is therefore important to consider your personal online safety and to protect your personal details. Here are a few tips on online safety:

  • Check your privacy settings on social media
  • Choose secure passwords and don’t have the same one for all of your email or online accounts
  • Think about what personal information you have online and whether it is necessary for it to be there
  • Be on your guard for requests to confirm or supply account or personal information
  • Be careful not to overshare information on your movements – highlighting that you are going to be away from your accommodation could provide an opportunity for thieves
  • Never post comments that are abusive or may cause offence to either individuals or groups of society.

Some basic information on IT security can be found on the Computing and Information Services web pages.

Emergency contact details

For University contact details in case of an emergency, please see: