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Queries of a personal nature
We know that for a large number of students’ this will be your first time away from home and this can be a daunting prospect especially if you are new to the Derby area.
Even if you are not new to Derby or experiencing living away for the first time, it is important that you look after your personal safety both at home and when you are out to ensure you have a positive experience while at University. Below are some frequently asked questions around ways in which you can improve your personal safety.
If you experience any safety issues while at University or have any other questions please make an appointment with one of our advisors in The Source and we will do our best to help you out.
How can I increase my personal safety when I am out?
There are a number of things that you can do when you are out to ensure you do not become a victim of crime:
- If you are not using your phone when you are out, keep it out of sight and somewhere secure.
- If you are using your phone while out, make sure you are aware of what is happening around you. Thieves will target people who look like they are not concentrating.
- Try and avoid using your mobile or having your headphones in when out at night, these will distract you from what is happening around you.
- Always use well lit routes when you are walking at night.
- If your phone is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the police. You can contact Derbyshire Constabulary on 101. We would advise that you also contact your phone provider so that they can put a block on the phone.
- We would also advise that you purchase a personal attack alarm; these can be used to attract attention and frighten away potential attackers.
What can I do to make my home secure?
- Ensure that the property have good standard locks and bolts on your windows and doors, if you do not feel that they are speak with your landlord or letting agency to discuss your concerns.
- Keep valuables out of sight when you are not in the property, a burglar will look through windows before breaking in to see if there is anything worth taking.
- Mark your property with an ultra violet (UV) pen, include your name and contact details. We recommend this because if your property is stolen and recovered by the police they will be able to identify the owner.
- Make sure that you check your fire alarm on a regular basis.
- If you have a caller at your door, ensure that they clearly state who they are and check their I.D. If you were not expecting anyone, ask them to wait outside while you call their office to check their identity. If you are not 100% satisfied, do not let the caller in and call the police.
How do I get contents insurance?
The Source would advise that all students take out contents insurance as this will be the only way you may get items replaced if they are stolen or damaged.
NUS recommend using a company called Endsleigh, details for these can be found on the quick links section.
What is spiking and how can I try and prevent being a victim of it?
Spiking is when someone intentionally and without your knowledge puts a substance in your drink in order to intoxicate you. They may put drugs into your drink, may add alcohol to a non alcoholic drink or add more alcohol to a drink.
Reasons behind why people may spike a drink:
- They have the intention of attempting to date rape the person.
- As a practical joke
Tips to help prevent your drink being spiked:
- If someone offers to buy you a drink, politely decline. If you accept then make sure that you see the drink being poured.
- Avoid swapping and sharing drinks.
- If you go to dance or to the toilet, take your drink with you or leave it with someone you trust.
- If you start to feel odd or unusually drunk, ask a friend to take you home.
- Look out for your friends.
- Put a spikey in your bottle.
- Don’t presume that spiking just happens to women – Men’s drinks can get spiked too!
How can I make sure I am drinking safely on a night out?
- Eat before going out – Drinking on an empty stomach means that the alcohol is absorbed straight into your system rather than gradually when it is mixed with food. When the alcohol goes straight into your system it is likely you will become drunk very quickly.
- Avoid drinking in rounds – You are likely to drink more if you join in rounds as you will have to keep up with everyone else so either decline to join in buying rounds or alternate by having a soft drink every other round.
- Know your limits and pace yourself – People have different tolerances to alcohol and nights out can be long so it is best to drink slowly rather than drinking a lot quickly and having to go home.
- Drugs are illegal and dangerous so mixing them with alcohol can be deadly.
- Attend affiliated nights out – The University of Derby Students’ Union has strong links with 2 bars and we aim to ensure that alongside serving reasonably priced drinks they are a safe environment. For more information on the affiliated nights out, visit www.udsu.co.uk
How often should the gas appliances in my rented accommodation be checked?
You need to have your gas appliances checked annually, for more information on this please go to the safety quick links section of the website.
How do I prevent myself from getting an infection if I have sex with someone at University?
You can come and see an advisor in your Students’ Union who can talk through the options available to you which might include contraception or celibacy. Do not feel pressured into having sex with anyone and if you feel threatened or uncomfortable then just let your partner know that you don’t wish to continue. To prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) we would always recommend that you use a condom and you can pick up some free ones from your Students’ Union.
If you need to get checked for Chlamydia, then we can also do this for you in your Students’ Union.
- Fire - Make your home safe Leaflet
- Fire safety in shared or rented accommodation Leaflet
- Home Fire Safety Check Leaflet
- Student Survival Guide
- University of Derby – Safety and Wellbeing in Halls of Residence
- Derbyshire Police
- Endsleigh student insurance
- Alcohol and health
- Alcohol and study
- Alcohol and social life
- Alcohol and family articles
- Alcohol and relationships
- Alcohol facts
- Alcohol unit calculator
- Alcohol tips and tools
- ‘Why let the good times go bad’ campaign
- Information on drink spiking
- Rape support (Derby)
- Safer Derbyshire
- Derby Community Safety partnership
- Smoke alarm safety information
- Home fire safety information
- Mobile phone safety information
- Safer homes information
- Door and window security information
- From the burglars eyes
- Stolen goods information
- Gas safety information
- Free Condoms
- Derbyshire Sexual Health Services