Student safety in Manchester

There’s no doubt about it, Manchester is an exciting place to be a student. We have three renowned universities, a buzzing social scene and plenty to appeal to culture fanatics. If you’re big on outdoor activities, we have beautiful countryside just 20 minutes outside the city too.\r\n\r\nUnfortunately in any big city there will always be some instances of crime. Students (both home and overseas) can often be a prime target for thieves and if we’re honest, we’re not always as careful with our personal and property security as we should be. \r\n\r\nWe know we’re not supposed to walk around with our phones on show, but we will, if only to answer that text or pull out Google maps when we take a wrong turn.\r\n\r\nAs students also tend to get around on bikes and live in multi-occupancy accommodation, we’re constantly leaving our precious property on show and having to rely on everybody in our accommodation to lock doors and windows too.\r\n\r\nMost students will tell you they feel safe in Manchester, but as a community, it’s important to be aware of any threats and take those simple but effective measures to protect ourselves when we’re out and about.\r\n\r\n

Your personal safety

\r\n\r\nProperty can be replaced, but an unpleasant experience can have longer lasting repercussions. Keep yourself safe when exploring our city by staying alert and keeping your gadgets hidden.\r\n\r\n• If you think you’re being followed, cross the road and get to a public place. This will require anyone on foot to have to give themselves away by following you.\r\n\r\n• Stick to well lit, well populated areas and wherever possible, plan your route before you leave home. This will mean you won’t have to keep pulling your smartphone out in order to find your way around a new city.\r\n\r\n• Ask other students or staff at your college or university if there are any areas you should avoid.\r\n\r\n• If you can, go into a bank or supermarket to draw out cash as opposed to drawing it out on the street.\r\n\r\n• Stay alert. Listening to music or chatting on your phone can show potential thieves that you’re distracted.\r\n\r\n

Nightlife

\r\n\r\nNot all students like going out to bars and clubs, and it certainly isn’t a staple part of university life if you don’t want it to be – there’s plenty of activities you can get involved in which don’t involve going out and drinking.\r\n\r\nHowever, if you and your friends do want to enjoy Manchester’s nightlife, it’s important to make sure that you can get home safely and that you’re always aware of your surroundings.\r\n\r\n• Don’t accept drinks from strangers. It is a very unpleasant thought, but criminals can put substances in your drinks which make you much more vulnerable to attack.\r\n\r\n• Stay with your friends and always agree a place to meet if you get lost. In some nightclubs and bars mobile phone reception is lost, so don’t just rely on texting.\r\n\r\n• Stay within your limits. The effects of alcohol can come on quickly.\r\n\r\n• If you get a taxi home, ensure you use a licensed cab from a professional firm. These companies will often text you with details of the car before they arrive. \r\n\r\n• If ever you’re not sure, ask to see the driver’s license, this should clearly be displayed in the car.\r\n\r\n• If you have to get public transport late at night, sit near the driver or conductor.\r\n\r\n

Property

\r\n\r\nWith many students often living in the same accommodation block, it can be difficult to ensure that doors are always being locked. While the social aspects of university living can be a fantastic experience, it’s true that a ‘revolving door’ system can leave you more vulnerable to thefts – would it really be that hard for somebody to get into your building?\r\n\r\n• Watch who is coming in behind you. This is called ‘tail-gating’ by Greater Manchester Police and involves students unwittingly allowing people to slip in behind them when they’re entering their accommodation.\r\n\r\n• Keep your windows and doors locked whenever you’re out of the room.\r\n\r\n• Don’t advertise your gadgets. Leaving boxes and packaging outside your property can act as a signal, as can leaving gadgets by windows.\r\n\r\n• If you think there are unsecure points in your property, speak to your landlord or the manager of your student accommodation and ask them to rectify this.\r\n\r\n• Speak to your flatmates and make sure that everyone is making an effort to lock doors and windows when they go out. In social halls, it isn’t uncommon for flat doors to be propped open while people visit their friends’ flats.\r\n\r\n• If you’re worried about safety in a multi-dwelling occupation, ask your student accommodation manager to send an email round and/or put up posters to remind students to be vigilant.\r\n\r\n• Insure your belongings and register them for free at https://www.immobilise.com/. This will allow police to identify your property and return it to you if it is recovered.\r\n\r\n

Bike safety

\r\n\r\nWe just had to highlight bike security as there’s so many forlorn bike frames attached to railings around Manchester! \r\n\r\n• Get a ‘D’ lock with a gold ‘sold secure’ rating. D locks can be heavier to carry, however they’re more secure than cable locks.\r\n\r\n• Lock through the wheel, the frame and the railings you’re securing your bike too. Ideally, use two different locks (passing through each wheel and part of the frame) for extra security.\r\n\r\n• Be aware of anything that will detach easily. Examples include seats and unchained wheels.\r\n\r\n• Don’t assume that just because your bike is inside or in a bike store it will be safe – lock it to something sturdy.\r\n\r\nOur city really is a wonderful place for students and we want to keep it that way! For more safety and security tips, speak to one of our consultants or read our blog for further study abroad in Manchester advice.\r\n\r\nWe’d also suggest visiting the http://www.suzylamplugh.org/ website before coming to the UK – it’s full of useful suggestions for keeping yourself safe.\r\n\r\n