Your safety

Our campuses are generally very safe environments. We want to ensure that things stay this way. The University works closely with local agencies including the police and borough councils to achieve this.

Emergency information

It's important you familiarise yourself with our emergency information in case you ever discover a fire or need first aid help, or need to contact our security staff in an emergency.

Colchester Campus

There is 24-hour security at our Colchester Campus. Our helpful and friendly security team are based in the Security and Safety Centre on Square 3, or you can call them on 01206 872125. Please also familiarise yourself with the safety advice below.

Walking together

For those walking to and from campus, we would encourage you to join our ‘Walking Together’ email subscription where you can make contact with other University members walking on your route. Membership of the subscription list is instant just follow these steps:

  1. subscribe to the Walking Together list
  2. in the subject line add your destination, such as: Quays, Meadows or Avon Way
  3. then add the time you plan to leave

Personal alarms

Free personal alarms are available for students and staff to collect from the Security and Safety Centre on Square 3.

General advice and information

Staying safe

  • Avoid walking or cycling alone in isolated areas or along isolated and unlit or poorly lit footpaths. Try to arrange to walk with others and keep to well lit streets.
  • Remember short cuts are not always the safest routes.
  • Avoid using mobile phones when walking alone or when you are in large crowds.
  • Use bank machines in daylight hours if possible, don't use them if anyone suspicious is hanging around.
  • Don't walk around with glasses or bottles, or anything that others could use as a weapon against you.
  • If you are carrying a bag, keep the opening in your sight or against your body.
  • Don't keep keys in your bag.
  • Don't keep pin numbers with credit or debit cards.
  • Don't carry large sums of money around with you - carry only what you need.
  • Don't carry debit or credit cards around with you if they are not needed.
  • Consider purchasing a personal alarm.

Essex Police have produced personal safety information providing useful tips so that you can avoid becoming a victim of crime.

Living off campus

Students living off campus can be targeted by burglars who are aware that students are likely to have valuable electronic equipment such as laptops, mobile phones etc.

Please take care to keep your home secure and your belongings safe. We recommend you take out insurance.

Pubs, clubs and bars

Useful hints

  • When you are in a club or bar watch your drinks and the drinks of your friends. Keep them in sight and never leave them unattended.
  • Drinking from a bottle and holding onto it when in the bar means you can keep your thumb over the top to make sure no one puts anything in your drink.
  • Don't take drinks out on the street - bottles and glasses make good weapons that could be used against you.
  • Be cautious of taking drinks from strangers especially if you didn't see them poured or opened.
  • Look after each other. If someone is drunk or unwell try to arrange to get them home safely - don't let them wander about in a confused or aggressive state on their own.
  • Remember if you are drunk or under the influence of other substances you may not be in control and are particularly vulnerable!

Although this is not a particular problem in the local area beware of drinks being interfered with or spiked. Young people can be particularly vulnerable to these types of incident which can lead to such things as robbery and rape.

Anti-social behaviour

We ask you to be considerate and think of how your behaviour might affect other students or residents. The University will not tolerate anti-social behaviour on campus or in the local community.

Reporting incidents

We urge you to report any incident of attack or assault to the police by dialling 101. If you are off campus and in need of immediate emergency assistance dial 999. If you are on campus then you can contact security for assistance or to report an incident or attack.

Alternatively, you can also report incidents to:

Colchester Campus

Loughton or Southend Campus

Please report incidents to your local police station or to your Student Services Hub.

Road safety


You are urged to take extra care during the winter months when it is often dark and can be icy. Be aware that drivers may not be able to see you if you are wearing dark clothing and make sure that you have plenty of time for crossing roads. It is recommended that you do not listen to music so that you can hear and see the traffic. International students need to be particularly aware as many of you will come from countries where traffic travels on the right.

Students based at the Colchester Campus are reminded of the danger of crossing the A133 dual carriageway between campus and the Greenstead Estate (Clinghoe Hill). The road has poor visibility for drivers, especially after dark and traffic is very fast. There have been serious accidents on this road that have lead to fatalities. Please take care and only cross at the pedestrian crossings at the roundabout.


The Highway Code is not just for drivers, it applies to cyclists too. Key points of the code for cyclists are:

  • At night your cycle must have front and rear lights lit. It must also be fitted with a red rear reflector, white front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen.
  • You must not cycle on the pavement. Do not leave your cycle where it would endanger or obstruct road users or pedestrians, for example, lying on the pavement. Use cycle parking facilities where provided.

We recommend that you buy at least one sturdy lock for your bike as we frequently have reports of bikes being stolen. This is much less likely to happen if you have locked your bike with one or more D-locks. If your bike is stolen report it to your local police station as soon as possible. If it is stolen from the Colchester Campus also report it to the Patrol Staff at the Security and Safety Centre, Square 3.


All drivers in the UK must abide by The Highway Code. If you do not have a UK driving licence and want to know if you can drive in the UK, the DVLA has all the relevant information. We also recommend you read the UKCISA guidance for international students on driving in the UK.

In the UK, it is the law that children must use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall.


There are several taxi companies in the local area, you can also call ‘Infoline’ which operates overnight, 01206 87(4062).

The companies and their drivers should be able to quote you a price before you travel although some cabs work with a meter and some don’t. All taxis and minicabs operating legally are licensed – don’t get into an unmarked car, even if the driver says they are from a taxi service.

Other useful information

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Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.