Personal safety

Oxford isn’t a dangerous place, but sticking to a few simple rules can still help you stay safe.

Nights out

Personal Safety
  • Before you go out for the evening make sure you have the number of a couple of local taxi companies in your phone, or if you are a student ask your college porter who they would use.
  • Check bus timetables before going out. Oxford public transport
  • Don’t walk in secluded areas on your own at night.
  • Try asking fellow students or staff in your departments if there are any areas to avoid. Some places may be great short-cuts in the day but best avoided at night.
  • Try to walk back home with friends.
  • Personal alarms are available from the Oxford SU and Security Services – they are the size of a pebble and fit easily in the palm of your hand, but when activated they make a deafening shriek.

General safety

Nights out
  • If you want to wear headphones when walking home at night, just wear one – this may help you hear someone behind you.
  • Even if you are laden with books and bags, always try to keep one hand free.
  • Walk confidently and with purpose.
  • If you see someone in trouble, please think twice before trying to help – this may make the situation worse and you could end up getting hurt as well. It may be better to call the police, or if the incident is happening on University property, alert Security Services on 01865 272944.
  • For more advice on staying safe around town, see the University’s personal safety page for students.

Alcohol & drugs

Alcohol and Drugs
Whether you’re a student or a member of staff, we all like to socialise and for many people that means drinking alcohol. If you are going to indulge, though, try to do it in a sensible way that doesn’t put you in danger.
  • Make sure you eat a solid meal before going out.
  • Before you go out, make sure people know where you plan to go and when you’ll be back. Put emergency contacts in your phone.
  • Drink plenty of water on a night out. This won’t just help you feel better the next day; it will also help you stay in control while you’re out. Consider alternating alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Remember that alcohol lowers your guard and can seriously affect your ability to judge what is safe.
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended in a club or pub.  Leave it and get a fresh one, or ask a good friend to keep a watch over it.
  • Avoid rounds – they often create pressure to drink more than you otherwise would. Know your limits and stick to them.
  • If you’ll need a taxi to get home, keep your taxi money separate from your drinking money so you know you can get home safely.

Where to get help – Help and advice for young people at risk of suicide. – The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, set up to help reduce the risk of violence and aggression. – Friendly, confidential drug advice. – open from 8pm to term, from 0th week to 9th week. Gives students confidential listening, support and information throughout the night.


We all get emails urging us to invest in wines, asking if we’ve had an accident or promising to pay us millions of dollars if we’ll just provide our bank details.

Often these are obvious scams, but in other cases the truth isn’t so clear. Failing to take sensible security precautions online can be expensive, embarrassing and sometimes even dangerous.

Look at the links below to find out how to keep passwords safe, stay clear of phishing scams, and protect your computer from hackers.