Safety tips

Six icons depicting methods of staying safe at night, including a taxi and streetlights.

Walking home

The best way to stay safe at night is to stick with your friends. But if you find yourself on your own, here are some tips:

  • If on campus, use our night-time walking taxi service by contacting Campus Security
  • Get a registered taxi – save some money for the end of the night, so you can be brought straight home – it’s much safer and easier
  • Get the night bus, the Uni2. Stagecoach provides a night bus until 04:35 and the route includes campus colleges and the local area
  • Carry a personal safety alarm. You can pick one up from Campus Security
  • Keep your valuables hidden – cover-up expensive looking jewellery, mobiles, keys, cash and cards
  • Stick to well-lit and busy areas. Avoid car parks and underpasses
  • Stay alert - don't walk home on the phone or listening to music

Alcohol and drugs

Whatever your attitude is towards alcohol and drugs, we want you to be aware of the risks. This includes risks to your health and wellbeing, as well as legal consequences. Here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Everyone's tolerance to drugs is different
  • Mixing substances (including alcohol) can be unpredictable and dangerous
  • You can never be sure of an illegal drug's strength or content
  • Tell your friends if you have taken drugs in case of any difficulties. Also, if you know one of your friends has taken drugs, look out for them to help keep them safe.

For straightforward facts about drugs visit the Talk to Frank website. If you have concerns about alcohol or drug use or addiction and would like to talk to someone, you can use the Forward Trust's Reach Out service, or have a look at support available from other external organisations.

Drink spiking

Drink spiking involves drugs or alcohol being put into someone's drink without them knowing.

Anyone can be a victim of spiking and it is not always connected to sexual assault. Drink spiking is a crime.

Find out more about drink spiking, including information on how to report it, and how to support a friend who you think may have been spiked.

What to do if you think a friend's drink may have been spiked (video, 1 min).

Safety in the home

Here are some steps you can take to stay safe at home in your private rented accommodation:

  • Check you’ve got smoke alarms (and, where necessary, a carbon monoxide alarm) and test them regularly
  • Keep exits clear
  • Be careful cooking – more than half of fires start in the kitchen
  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of carefully
  • Close your doors at night
  • Switch off electrical appliances when you’re not using them
  • Make sure you have a gas safety certificate. Your landlord is legally obliged to make sure all the appliances in the house are safe
  • Fire safety advice from Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Protect against crime

Safety tips to protect against crime;

  • Take out contents insurance on all your belongings
  • Keep valuables out of sight
  • Don’t keep spare keys hidden anywhere obvious
  • Security mark your valuables
  • When you go on holiday take your valuables with you and tell your neighbours
  • Report incidents to the police. You will need the crime reference number to make an insurance claim

Online safety

Safety is also important online:

  • Use strong online passwords, don’t share them and regularly update software
  • Be aware that people you meet online may not be who they say they are
  • Protect your devices: get free anti-virus software and advice about keeping your PC, laptop and mobile devices secure
  • Email safety: how to spot clever fakes out to defraud you
  • Social media safety guidelines for students
  • Sextortion is when someone is persuaded to perform an act in front of a webcam, which is recorded by criminals, who then threaten to share the images online unless the victim pays. Find out more information and how to protect yourself on the National Crime Agency website. 
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