Personal security advice for students
Although Reading is a safe area in general, you should take precautions to look after yourself. Click on the links below for more information on keeping safe and secure at University.
The University’s Security team
The 50 plus in-house team is on hand 24/7 and strives to maintain a safe and secure environment across the University's sites. They provide:
- security patrols, surveillance and emergency response for all University property
- an extensive CCTV network
- 24-hour control room
In addition, Security Services offer a range of security equipment to help individuals protect themselves and their property, including high visibility vests, bike d-locks and personal attack alarms.
These items are available to purchase from the Security Office in Whiteknights House.
Important – put these contacts in your phone:
|Emergency services (fire, ambulance, police)||Telephone 999|
|University Security Services emergency control extension||Telephone 0118 378 6300|
|Health and Safety services||Telephone 0118 378 8888|
Your personal security - common sense advice
- avoid being out on your own after dark
- avoid dark alleys, parks and isolated areas, especially at night
- let your friends know when you are going out, where you are going and roughly what time you expect to be back
- organise your return home safely either with a friend or in a registered taxi if you are out late at night
- RUSU operates a ‘Pay Later’ taxi service in conjunction with a local taxi company – please visit the RUSU hub for further details
The University’s website provides excellent additional security advice and information about the security services available.
Campus Watch This service will operate along the same lines as a neighborhood watch scheme for the Campus and will help improve the Campus community relations as well as sharing of information.
Chaperone-service is a free service where any member of staff, student or visitor can book security to "watch over them". You can call security to book the service, if you feel insecure at night when making your way back to your car or accommodation.
Callmy Alert emergency messaging app
We have launched a mass notification app, Callmy Alert, as part of our continuing investment into making our campuses safe places to work and study. Callmy Alert app is free to download in Apple, Android and Windows app stores and will enable us to alert our students and staff about any significant threats to life and safety on campus. This might be a major fire, toxic chemical or gas leak or terrorism related incident.
Should such an incident occur, you will receive a simple message, in real time, informing you where the incident is and which areas or buildings to avoid. Firearms or weapons attacks on UK campuses are rare, but the app will help you stay safe. This complements the recommended Police advice of Run, Hide, Tell. Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the guidance.
The system updates continuously and covers all of the University estate so if you are in a classroom or on the move, it will help keep you safe.
To download the app, visit the app store relevant to your device. After installation there is a simple verification process to follow and you’ll need to add the group name UoRalert. The app will occupy only 11.8MB of your storage. The app will not access your contacts, share your data or offer in-app purchases and you will not receive spam from it. You will receive periodic test messages so it is worth checking that to make sure everything is working properly. If you have any questions, please contact our Security team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0118 378 7799.
Secure your valuables
Avoid considerable disruption to your studies and your day-to day life:
- Security-mark equipment - this makes it less attractive to thieves and more readily traced by the police.
- Use security cable kits to secure computers, printers and so on to the desk.
- Always back up your work and store discs in a secure fireproof area or install a departmental server.
- When leaving a room at the end of the day, particularly an office on the ground floor: ensure windows are securely locked and close blinds
- Move all portable items out of reach.
- Never leave offices unlocked when unattended… even for one minute!
- When in the University Library, please keep valuable possessions with you or leave them with someone you know you can trust. Thieves may seek public areas where students may leave belongings behind whilst taking a break. Report suspicious activity to Library staff at the nearest desk, University Security [0118 378 6300] or Police .
Keeping your bicycle secure
- use one of the dedicated areas with bike locking points
- use an approved lock
- lock the frame of your bike to the locking point and whenever possible include the wheel(s), particularly if they are quick release, or take them with you
- never leave your bike unattended overnight unless in secure storage
- record make, model and serial number and any other unique identifying features
- enquire at Security or your local Police Station whether it is possible to have your bike frame marked with your postcode followed by your house number
- take out insurance cover
- register your bike on the national database, at immobilise - this is the database that the Police will check in the event of any bikes being stolen and then recovered
- Security can supply a security label which is very hard to remove from your bike
- Keep up to date with all the latest news on our Cycling to the University pages.
Keeping your car secure
Vehicle crime rates on campus are comparable to the rest of the Thames Valley area. You can reduce the risk of your vehicle being broken into by following these simple steps:
- always lock your vehicle.
- never leave any items on display.
- remove all valuable items from your vehicle.
- remove the fascia from any radio/stereo equipment.
- remove all Sat Nav Equipment, including the holder.
- do not leave your vehicle on campus overnight.
- always use any security devices fitted to your car.
Be taxi safe
- Make sure your taxi or private hire is legal (the licensing authority, licence number, vehicle registration and driver's identity badge should all be displayed in/on the vehicle).
- Make a note of the licence plate and driver's licence number. If you feel uneasy text both to a friend.
- Sit in the back of the vehicle.
- Keep your mobile phone where it is accessible.
Do not use cab if:
- The driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The driver does not seem to know the area.
- The vehicle appears to be too old or in a state of disrepair.
- You are uneasy for any reason.
Staying Safe booklet includes advice on personal safety when walking alone and using public transport, driving when alone, avoiding unwanted attention and staying safe in the home. Hard copies of this publication can be requested by emailing reception.