Staying safe and secure
London is a safe city to live, study and explore. Like any large city, however, you should always be taking a few steps to ensure you don't put yourself at risk.
For the vast majority of the time, our campuses - and London generally - are very safe spaces. However, like in any big city, you should be taking precautions around your safety and ensure you're aware of things that may put you at risk.
Ideally, we would like to prevent crimes before they ever happen. Although this is never entirely possible, there are a number of things you can do to help this.
If you are a victim of a crime, you can report it to the Security team and we will support you in contacting the police. If you need to report a crime that doesn't require urgent assistance, you can do so via the online form or through contacting us directly.
We also recommend you download and read the College's Safe and Secure Guide. If you're encountering any issues relating to your wellbeing and would like some advice or support, you can do so through the Student Support Zone.
Safe and Secure
There are a few general tips to remember to ensure you're best placed at avoiding certain risks around a large city such as London. These include:
- Check your surroundings - If you're using your phone in public or are getting cash from an ATM, try to take extra care. Walking around London is generally safe but avoid walking alone late at night if possible. If you are alone, stick to busy and well-lit areas and let someone know where you are.
- Power up - If you are going out for the evening, charge your phone and carry an additional battery pack with you.
- Plan ahead - Try to plan your journey home by checking Transport for London's website or the Citymapper app on your phone.
- Look out for each other - On a night out, stay with your friends and look out for each other. Wherever possible, share the responsibility of making sure everyone gets home safely.
- Drugs - Moving away from home and living independently may provide you with the freedom and opportunity to experiment with alcohol or recreational drugs. It’s important that you are able to make informed choices about alcohol and drug use, understand the risks and know how to get help if drug or alcohol misuse becomes a problem. It is illegal to consume, produce, supply or possess most recreational drugs and psychoactive substances in the UK. The penalties if you are caught can be significant and may have an impact on your life in the future.
Protecting your property
The most common crimes reported by students relate to the theft of phones, laptops and bikes. If you do experience a theft, don't panic. Inform the Security team and we can support you with then reporting the crime to the police. Here are a few things to remember to ensure you can protect your possessions:
- Register your possessions - Register your valuables with the UK's National Property Register. This increases your chances of getting your things returned to you if it is lost or stolen. For bikes, you can register them at the National Cycle Database.
- Track your devices - For electronic devices, including phones and laptops, activate the built-in tracking programs when you purchase them (such as Find my iPhone). You should also keep a record of the serial numbers of your devices and your phone's IMEI number.
- Back it up - Remember to back up your data and coursework to the cloud or an external hard drive regularly. Students and staff are automatically provided a certain allocation of cloud storage. If anything happens to your laptop, at least you know all of your work is still safely available!
- Safe purchases - A security cable for your laptop, costing around £10, reduces the likelihood of 'snatch' thefts in public places. You can also buy high-quality ABUS 'D' bike locks at the Security Office in Sherfield Building, South Kensington - these normally retail for approximately £95 but are available to staff and students for £45.
- Peace of mind - Always lock your bike in our secure storage areas on campus. Lock the frame of your bike to the locking point and whenever possible include the wheels.
Protect your home
Whether you are in halls of residence or private accommodation, simple steps can help ensure that your home is secure.
- Double check - Lock your windows, doors and any gates when leaving your home. Make sure that no ladders, bins or other items could be used as a climbing aid for thieves!
- Out of sight - Keep your valuables, keys and any important documents out of sight within your home and away from viewable windows.
- Insured - Make sure that you have insured your belongings and keep the details of any insurance policies secure. If you're living in halls of residence, the College provides basic contents cover for the contents inside your room. You can find up-to-date info/links about the basic contents insurance that we provide for students in halls on this link.
Your phone, computer and the internet are a fundamental part of modern life, but this can also make you vulnerable to people trying to access your account and data.
You should learn about how to keep your data, devices and information secure at the College's Be Secure pages.