Be Smart, Be Safe
Be Smart Be Safe is a joint initiative between De Montfort University and the campus police team.
De Montfort University is committed to working in partnership with its students, its staff and the local community to create a safe environment for study, work and leisure. We have forged a close working relationship with Leicestershire Constabulary and its local neighbourhood team.
This dynamic partnership means that De Montfort University is a safe campus. We intend to keep it that way.
We have a proactive 24/7 security team ready to respond to your concerns with a police officer dedicated to the campus. They are supported by the neighbourhood policing team working from the nearby Hinckley Road Police Station. Members of our security team and the campus police officer regularly patrol halls of residence and campus buildings. We are there to help you make the most of the opportunities presented by the University without fear of harassment, crime or anti social behaviour.
The purpose of this page is to give you access to some of our services. In particular, you can submit a report to our security team expressing any concerns you have about crime, harassment or anti-social behaviour. You can if you wish submit this anonymously and be assured of complete confidentiality.
For more information, download the Leicestershire Police Student Survival Guide.
Generally speaking, our campus is a safe place to live, study and enjoy yourself; but like anywhere else, there is a risk that a crime could occur. Staying safe can be as simple as following a few common sense guidelines; keep the following advice in mind.
Keep your valuables safe
What is small, valuable and easily concealed? Handbags, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and electrical goods are all easily stolen and easily sold on. Keep yours safe. Don’t leave them lying around, even for a minute. Keep an eye on your valuables in libraries, workshops and computer suites.
Similarly, always lock your car and put valuables out of sight. It takes seconds to break a car window and reach through, but thieves rarely waste their time if there’s nothing on view. Wherever possible, keep your property with you; if you need to leave anything in your car, put items in your glovebox, under your seat, or simply put them in your boot.
Remember to lock your car when paying for petrol. You'll be gone for a short time, but it only takes a couple of seconds to steal something whilst you're distracted.
If your phone is stolen, call your network or 08701 123 123 to immobilise it.
There are things you can do to increase the liklihood of any stolen items being returned to you later:
- Visit immobilise.com to register your valuable items for free
- Protect yourself with insurance - keep lists of the make, model and serial numbers of your electronic items to help police track them down if they are stolen
- Mark your property with the initials of the university (DMU) and your student ID number - this makes it harder for a burglar to sell stolen goods and can help the police to return items to you
- Use a UV security marker to write your name and contact details on your items; these markers can be acquired cheaply and use ink that is invisible unless the item is inspected with a UV light, as police officers frequently do when recovering stolen items
Keep your property secure
Keep your doors and windows locked
Burglars are known to target student houses and residences specifically. In an average house, they may find one computer; in a student house, they may find several, plus lots of other expensive electrical goods. Lock up whenever you go out, with deadbolts if you have them, and remind your housemates to do the same.
In a hall of residence, lock your bedroom door, even if you are only going down the corridor. Although you may trust your housemates, you never know if any of them have guests on the property. Not all visitors are honest.
Keep your bike locked
Never leave a bicycle unlocked in a public place, and never use a chain or cable as the main lock; bike thieves carry bolt croppers to remove these. Use a D-Lock - if you haven't got one, visit us at the Estates Services Building opposite the Campus Centre for a free, good quality D-lock.
Thieves are opportunists; they look for openings they can take advantage of. They are not always strangers. Some thieves target students specifically and frequent university and college campuses, on bicycles or on foot. You may have heard of thieves who stand behind an intended victim at a cash machine and take a mental note of their PIN number; to help protect against this, use cash machines in the daytime, stand close to the machine while you use it, and always put away your card and cash before walking away from the machine. For added security, keep your bank and credit cards separate from any cheque books and keep your card details handy so that you can cancel them quickly if you need to. Never write down your PIN number, especially not in the same place as your card details; your bank will never ask you for your PIN, even if you are contacting them to cancel the card.
A common tactic is for a thief to follow someone through a door they have just unlocked. This is known as tailgating. Don’t let anyone follow you through a door you’ve unlocked on campus, or in the halls of residence, unless they have the same key or access card as you. Thieves aren't looking for confrontation, as this will draw attention to them; they're counting on you being too shy or polite to ask questions. Don't hesitate to ask if they're a resident or have a key or card, and don't accept excuses such as forgotten keys or visits to a friend. If you're not comfortable refusing entry to a tailgater alone, don't hesitate to alert a staff member or call DMU Security on 0116 2577642. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Safety on nights out
Robbers are also opportunists, though in general, they're not as common as thieves. They are likely to act with accomplices, and prefer lone targets in dark places. Don't walk home alone at night. Walk in a group, travel by taxi or stay over with friends. Your safety is worth more than the cab fare home! If you find yourself unable to pay for a taxi, call a friend or relative and ask them to pay for your ride at the other end. If you are walking at night, stay on wide, well lit routes. In Leicester, main routes are covered by CCTV; dark, narrow streets are not. On and in the immediate vicinity of DMU's campus, you can call DMU Security on 0116 2577642 - we can monitor you using our cameras for your peace of mind for as long as you're within the area our CCTV system can observe.
To help keep yourself safe on a night out, make sure you:
- Let someone know where you're going and what time you will be home (even if you can only give a rough idea)
- Know how you are getting home at the end of the night
- Remain with your friends at all times
- If you can, have a designated drinks watcher in your group; ideally, this person should refrain from drinking alcohol themselves so that they can stay as alert as possible
- Otherwise, never leave your drink unattended
- Eat before you go out; this can help stop you from getting too drunk
- Drink water between alcoholic drinks to prevent you from getting too drunk, and to ensure you stay hydrated (and to reduce the liklihood of a headache in the morning!)
- Don't accept a drink from someone you do not trust, or that has been out of your sight between it being served and reaching you
- Keep some money back for a taxi home
- Make sure your phone is fully charged before you set out
- Keep the telephone number of a licensed taxi firm with you - preferably, keep a paper copy somewhere on you in case you lose your phone, or your battery runs out
- If you do not have the contact number for a licensed taxi company or your phone, many bars and clubs will be happy to call one for you
- Never take an unlicensed cab or a lift from a stranger
- Do not get into a car with a driver who’s been drinking
- As above; never walk home alone
Safety at home: sexual violence, harassment and domestic abuse
Statistically, one in four women suffer sexual assault during their time as a student; men are also at risk, though are less likely to report their experience, making it difficult to estimate the number of men affected.
At DMU, our students can contact a specialised support team if they experience sexual violence, sexual harassment (including stalking, unwanted contact, abusive language and behaviours on campus which create an intimidating environment) or domestic abuse, including including so called ‘honour crime’, forced marriage and coercive control.
The Mandala Project can provide support to help you understand the options available to you and make informed decisions on how to move forward. They can help you to access other wellbeing services at DMU, advocate for academic support and assist you in making a formal report to our Security Team, the police or both.
The decision to report is a personal one; our trained first responders will not pressure you to make a formal report. Should you choose not to report, our team still want to support you.
Visit The Mandala Project website