Safety in the city

Bringing down crime in Nottingham
With a huge student population, Nottingham is one of the most vibrant cities in the UK.

Starting university can mean some significant life changes - making new friends, studying in a new city, going out to new places and living independently for the first time. Our award-winning campuses and their surrounding areas are generally very safe but settling into a new city can increase your risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Whether this is your first time living independently or you’ve been in Nottingham for a while, we want to make sure you can safely enjoy your experience at the University of Nottingham.

The university works with Nottinghamshire Police to ensure your time in Nottingham is safe and secure. A lot of the crime involving students is opportunistic so you can reduce your risk of being affected by crime by following the advice on this page. You can also sign up for Nottinghamshire Alert to get key crime messages directly to your inbox from the officers in your area.

Download our guide to personal safety


"The close working relationship we have with the police enables us to keep our students informed as to what is happening and, most importantly, to educate them in crime prevention."

Jamie Dickinson, Community Engagement Manager

Undergraduate students in Nottingham City Centre


Personal Safety | Burglary Prevention | Harrassment and Hate CrimeCycle and Vehicle Safety | Victim Support

Staying safe online | International Student Safety


Personal Safety

Nottingham is a friendly city and our campuses are safe places. The city has held Purple Flag status since 2010 which indicates that Nottingham is one of the best and safest places for a night out in the UK. The University of Nottingham works alongside multiple organisations developing initiatives and schemes to make this possible.

But like in any other city, you need to be sensible and it is important that you look after yourself and your belongings. A lot of the crime involving students is opportunistic and can be avoided by following this personal safety advice.

General Safety
  • Take your mobile phone out with you at all times and make sure it’s charged.
  • Stay alert – walk confidently and be aware of what is going on around you at all times. Listening with headphones or talking on the phone while out and about reduces your awareness.
  • Keep cash and valuables out of sight – use inside pockets and zipped bags.
  • Stay alert at cash machines. Hide your PIN number, be aware of who’s behind you and don’t flash your cash. Avoid using cash machines if you’ve had too much to drink – withdraw money during the day.
  • Carry a personal alarm.
  • Mark your valuable items using an ultraviolet pen with your name and student ID number and keep a list of the make, model and serial numbers of electronic items.
  • Register your property for free on the Immobilise database and improve your chance  of getting it back if it is lost or stolen:
  • Insure your personal belongings against theft and damage with adequate cover in case you need to replace possessions. Check with your accommodation provider to see if insurance is included.
On a night out


  • Out for the night – talk about where you are going and who with and make a plan for getting home.
  • Stick with your friends and avoid leaving with someone you don’t know or can’t trust.
  • Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from a stranger.
  • Drink aware – avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. It’s easier to do something risky when you are drunk and you’re more likely to lose your belongings and be an easier target for crime.
  • If you feel very drunk or unwell, ask a trusted friend or member of door staff for help.

      If you get into difficulty...
  • Support your friend / stay with your friend If you get into difficulty...
  • If you're in a venue – report to the venue / door staff (some venues have dedicated welfare teams)
  • Seek medical support if you feel unwell – 999 in an emergency or 111 for advice
  • Report to ‘Report and Support’ to ensure you have a follow-up and support from the University.
  • Report the incident to Police – 999 if it is an active situation or 101 if after the event
    • You can access a urine sample testing kit up to 7 days after the incident but as soon as possible for the best results
    • It is a non-judgemental service, it is there to help
    • Reporting an incident will not get you into trouble, even if recreational drug use has taken place
Coming home
  • Keep enough money to pay for your journey home.
  • Where possible, avoid travelling alone.
  • Walking home - stay with friends, walk in groups and stick to well-lit streets. Never take isolated shortcuts.
  • Walk facing traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you.
  • Have keys ready when you’re approaching your accommodation.
  • Need a lift home? Make sure you only use licenced taxis or download the UNICAB app!

    The SU has teamed up with UNICAB to bring you the Safer Taxi Scheme. Access fixed rates through the app and pay by card before your journey.

    If you run out of cash, UNICAB also offers an emergency taxi scheme. Call 0115 950 0500 or text 80818 and pay the following day at the Welcome Zone. Add the number to your phone now so you have it in an emergency!

Alcohol and Drugs

Using alcohol and drugs can affect your judgment, make you vulnerable to crime and reduce your ability to stay safe.

Alcohol can affect your mood, it’s a depressant. So if you are feeling low when you start drinking you may feel worse after a few drinks. It takes your body about an hour to process one unit of alcohol, so pace yourself or your body won’t be able to cope.

To reduce the risk of harming your health, people are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. Spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.

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Burglary Prevention

Student accommodation, whether on or off university campus, often contains many more possessions than an average family home. With multiple occupants having laptops, tablets, mobile phones and games consoles, student residences are extremely desirable for burglars.

Over half of burglaries are through unlocked doors or open and insecure windows. Don’t become a victim of crime by making it is easy for burglars. 

Protect the property
  • Keep windows and doors locked, even if you’re in your accommodation.
  • Never share access codes to your house/flat/halls with non-residents and don’t let anyone in without checking their identity first.
  • Always ensure keys are kept out of sight and never anywhere near doors.
  • Make your home look occupied when you are out – leave your lights on or use timer switches.
  • Keep side gates locked and secure.
  • If you are lucky enough to have a burglar alarm, remember to set it!
  • Get to know your neighbours, particularly if they are full time residents! A good relationship with your neighbours means that they will likely look out for your property whilst you are away during vacation periods.
Protect your posessions
  • Keep valuables out of sight of windows, especially in ground floor rooms.
  • Close your curtains at night so people can’t see in.
  • Don’t leave empty electrical boxes outside your home as they indicate that you may have something worth stealing.
  • Take your valuables home during vacation periods and use timer switches to make it appear you property is occupied.
  • Keep bikes secure with a D-lock, even if locked away in a shed.
  • Mark your property with an ultraviolet pen so that it is identifiable.
  • Register your property for free on the Immobilise database and improve your chance  of getting it back if it is lost or stolen:
  • Insure your personal belongings against theft and damage with adequate cover in case you need to replace possessions. Check with your accommodation provider to see if insurance is included,


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Harrassment and Hate Crime

Nottingham is a friendly city and our campuses are safe places. The city has held Purple Flag status since 2010 which indicates that Nottingham is one of the best and safest places for a night out in the UK. The University of Nottingham works alongside multiple organisations developing initiatives and schemes to make this possible.

But like in any other city, you need to be sensible and it is important that you look after yourself and your belongings. A lot of the crime involving students is opportunistic and can be avoided by following this personal safety advice.

Report an incident online with Report + Support

Let’s be clear on consent

Let’s be clear on consent is a University initiative that aims to provide students with information about sexual consent as well as tackle the myths and misunderstandings about sexual consent, rape and sexual abuse.

If you have experienced sexual assault or rape, please speak to someone at the university so they can support you. You may initially want to speak to a staff member you know for guidance, but if you are still unsure about who to contact and you wish to speak to a member of the welfare team for advice, one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Speak with a member of the welfare team

Please note this email address is not a helpline and if you need to speak to someone urgently, contact the Police or University Security.

Download the Let's be clear on consent  information guide

Hate crime

The University of Nottingham has always maintained a strong commitment to supporting and celebrating our diverse community. We want you to feel safe and welcome in Nottingham because it’s as much your home as it is anyone else’s.

Hate crimes can take many different forms from race and religion to sexual orientation and identity to disabilities. It's important that you know how to recognise and report them.

If you experience hate crime, it’s important to report it. This can help prevent it happening to someone else, and allows the Police to understand hate crime in your local area and improve the way they respond to it.

Nottinghamshire Police launched a new Hate Crime campaign on 06 July 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign is an outcome of partnership work between various organisations that are committed to tackle hate crime across Nottinghamshire in response to any discrimination or verbal abuse experienced during the pandemic.

 Download an information leaflet on how to report in:

English  Chinese Arabic

Repoing hate crime

Report + Support

Report online at

This is a confidential reporting service and all reports will be passed to the correct team who will respond as soon as possible.

UoN Security

Contact or 0115 951 3013 (monitored 24/7).

Security staff will take an account of the incident and offer support, including assisting with a report to the Police.

Students' Union Advice


Students' Union Advice is a True Vision hate crime reporting centre - if you believe you have experienced hate crime, contact the service for more information.

True Vision Hate Crime

Report online at

This is a confidential reporting service and all reports are passed on to the Police.

Domestic violence

The Home Office defines domestic violence as 'any incident or pattern or incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 years and over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality'. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

If you are feeling unsafe in the place where you live please consider contacting the University as we will be able to offer you advice and support. 

You may feel unsafe from family members, a partner or ex-partner or it may be a friendship which has become difficult.

Relationships with friends can also become unhealthy and abusive, and whilst this may not be identified as domestic abuse, it can impact negatively on a student’s well-being and safety. This can particularly be the case when students are sharing accommodation.

If you are worried that a housemate or close friend is causing you harm, please contact the University for advice and support by emailing

Visit the HealthyU website for information on support available





Cycle and vehicle safety

Bikes are often targeted by thieves because they are left poorly secured or not secured at all. It takes just a few seconds for the opportunist thief to steal a bike that is left unsecured.

Protect your bike

Follow this advice to protect your bike and to increase the chances of it being returned to you if it is stolen.


  • Lock your bike up every time you leave it using secure locks (D-Locks are the best).
  • Ideally, use two different types of lock – this makes it harder to steal.
  • Fasten your bike through the frame and wheel to a fixed object.
  • Lock your bike in a busy, well-lit place, in view of people or CCTV cameras.
  • Make use of access controlled bike stores when on campus.
  • Make the lock and bike hard to move when parked – keep the gap between the bike and the lock small.
  • Take easily removable bike parts like lights, seats and wheels with you, so no one else does.
  • Vary your routine - lock up your bike in different ways and places.
  • Photograph your bike and record its details at
  • Permanently mark your bike for identification.
  • Insure your bike either on contents insurance or separately.


Vehicle Safety

We strongly advise that you do not bring your car to University as parking on campus and in the community is extremely limited. We encourage the use of public transport with student discounted travel on an award-winning bus and tram network. The university also operates a free hopper bus between campuses.

If you feel that bringing your car is absolutely your only option, then please consider these tips to keep your vehicle safe from criminals.


  • Lock all doors and close all windows every time your vehicle is left unattended, however briefly.
  • Always remove the ignition keys and never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running.
  • Remove all valuables such as laptops, sat navs, phones and bags.
  • Remove marks on the windscreen left from sat nav suckers.
  • Always keep your vehicle keys in a safe place, out of sight and away from windows and doors.
  • Protect your identity. Do not leave any documents containing your personal details in your vehicle.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit residential area overlooked by houses and ideally covered by a CCTV camera.
  • Use a mechanical immobiliser, for example a steering lock if your car is not fitted with an electronic immobiliser.


Nottinghamshire Police vehicle safety advice





Victim support

Nottinghamshire is a safe place to study and your chances of becoming a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour are low. But it does happen from time to time. Victim CARE provides free and confidential support to victims.

Catch 22

This integrated, victim-centred support service, provides community based support to victims, which may include providing ongoing support as well as enabling victims to access the main Nottinghamshire Victim CARE specialist service. 

Victim CARE was designed following feedback from victims who have not reported crime to the police.  It is part of the Crime Commissioner’s determination to put victims at the heart of his plans to provide them with the type of help they need, when they need it and his wish to see improved trust and confidence in the services available from diverse communities to encourage self-referrals from victims who typically do not report crimes to the police.

Call 0800 304 7575 or visit the website to find out more about Victim Care and how to self refer

Victim CARE also provides Restorative Justice Support.

Victims do not need to report to the police to receive help from Nottinghamshire Victim CARE.



Logo with letter i in circle

Staff supporting students that would benefit from a community point referral (if the student would prefer that to self-referral) can obtain the appropriate forms from Security or the Community Engagement Team.




Staying safe online

Many of you will use the internet as part of your daily lives, for university study, shopping, socialising, entertainment and banking. By following this advice you can help protect your personal data and keep yourself safe online.

Protecting your personal data and keeping yourself safe online
  • Think before you click a link in an email. Do you know and trust the sender? Fake ‘phishing’ emails can be very convincing.
  • Never give your PIN or passwords over the phone - your bank or the police would never ask for these.
  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
  • Don’t leave personal details lying around and shred personal correspondence before disposing.
  • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all devices and keep it updated.
  • Back up any important data as this will stop any loss of files if your device breaks, gets lost/stolen or is infected by malware.
  • Don’t assume public Wi-Fi hotspots are secure – never use them to do anything confidential like using your email or making a payment. Where possible use your mobile network internet which will have built-in security.
  • Check your privacy settings. It’s up to you who sees your photos, updates and profile information - be aware of your digital footprint and what information is available about you
  • Be careful what you post online - ‘checking in’ at places online can alert burglars to the fact you are not at home, and posting images of new and expensive items can also be risky.
  • Think before you add friends or contacts: Do you know them? Do you want to give them access to your photos etc?
  • Avoid sharing personal information in public, like your phone number or address.
  • Think before you join in a meme, e.g. ‘your celebrity name is your first pet’s name and your mother’s maiden name’: these are often your bank security questions too.
  • Only shop from secure websites - these will show a locked padlock or unbroken key in your browser, and the URL will begin with https://.
Sextortion/Revenge Porn/Relationship Blackmail

Sextortion is a type of cyber crime where victims are persuaded into performing acts of a sexual nature in front of their webcam. These acts are recorded, or allegedly recorded, by the criminal who threatens to upload the recordings to the internet and send to the victim’s friends and family if demands for money are not met.

Nobody has the right to share intimate images or videos of you without your consent. Intimate image abuse is often referred to as ‘revenge porn’.  Maliciously sharing intimate images of others without their consent is a crime and is a form of sexual abuse.

People online are not always who they say they are. Criminals create fake profiles and identities to befriend people online. Criminals are manipulative, often spending time trying to get to know their victims first to lure people in. Some will send out thousands of generic email threats hoping that someone will panic and respond.  

Think before you share. Even if you are in a relationship. Sharing of intimate images can immediately change the relationship balance.   

If you find yourself in a situation where you need help, we are here to support you. Remember that you are not alone and follow the below advice:

  • De-active your accounts.
  • Do not engage in further communication.
  • Keep a copy of the interaction.
  • Report and get help. There are lots of experienced non-judgemental support services and help available to you. 
  • Don't panic.
  • Don't pay.
  • Don't be embarrassed.


How to report:

Nottinghamshire Police are encouraging anyone who has experienced intimate image abuse to contact them. Officers want to hear from you and want to help. Report to the Police by calling 101 (non-emergency) or 999 in an emergency.

A member of UoN security staff will always be available to help you with advice, guidance and if appropriate, help you report the matter to the police.  UoN Security can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0115 951 8888.

For further advice about fraud or cyber-crime you can contact Action Fraud the UK’s national reporting centre for cybercrime.  

Here at the University, we have a significant amount of support services available to you. Reporting and getting additional support is easy. Please use the Report and Support platform.

Further information:

For more information visit get safe online in Nottinghamshire





International Student Safety

As an international student it’s a good idea to take extra caution when it comes to your personal safety and your possessions, as criminals often target those who appear unfamiliar with an area. Remember that the Police in the UK are friendly and approachable, and have a duty to protect everyone. It’s worth familiarising yourself with British law so that you are aware of the differences between your home country.

Top tips:

■ Beware of ‘scam’ phone calls from numbers you don’t recognise requesting personal information and/or money. Never make a payment to anyone you don’t know. The UK Home Office and your UK bank will never contact you in this way

■ Don’t carry large amounts of cash on you – £50 is the most you’ll realistically need

■ In an emergency dial 999 from any phone and ask for the Police; 101 if it’s not an emergency but you require Police assistance

■ Keep the telephone number of the university’s security department handy, in case you need to call for help

■ Police officers and Community Protection officers can often be seen walking the streets. If you feel unsafe, approach them – they are there to help 

Nottinghamshire Police Video in Cantonese:                                                                                   Nottinghamshire Police Video in Mandarin: