Safety and security

The University of St Andrews is one of the safest universities in the UK. However, St Andrews is also an adult learning environment – as well as taking responsibility for their studies, we expect students to learn to take responsibility for their own safety and encourage others to do the same. We have prepared the following practical guidance, and students can contact Police Scotland for further advice.

Safety and security in halls and flats

Halls of residence can be an attractive target for criminals. Be aware and take some common-sense precautions.

  • Don’t let anyone into the building unless you know them or have seen identification.
  • Don’t let anyone you don’t know follow you through a controlled doorway.
  • When leaving accommodation, lock all doors and windows.
  • Don’t put your name or room number on your keyring. It could direct a thief to your property.
  • Report any suspicious activity to staff or the police.

Protect your valuables

You can take steps to secure your valuables at home, in University property and while out.

  • Place details of your mobile phone, laptop, tablet, camera and other property on the National Mobile Property Register.
  • Don’t leave possessions unattended, even in the library or your hall of residence.

Protect your mobile phone

  • Keep it out of sight and don’t attract attention to it when not in use.
  • Use the security lock.
  • Keep a record of the 15 digit IMEI number, which is unique to the device, on the National Mobile Property Register. To find the IMEI number, dial *#06#.
  • If your phone is lost or stolen, contact the police and service provider immediately.

Cycle security and safety

  • Photograph your bike and record its details on the National Cycle Database. Keep a note of your bike’s serial number (found on crankshaft).
  • Lock your bike up every time you leave it using secure locks (for example, D-locks or thick cable locks).

Read more advice about cycle safety.

Party safe

Socialising is a major part of student life. Keep these simple steps in mind while having fun:

  • Plan your night out including how to get home.
  • Stick with friends and avoid leaving parties or nights out with strangers; look after one another and make sure you all get home safely.
  • Be sensible about how much alcohol you drink. Know the law about consuming alcohol and how alcohol consumption affects consent.
  • If you leave a drink unattended, then don’t go back to it.
  • If you feel very drunk or unwell, ask a trusted friend or a member of staff for help.
  • Look after bags and valuables.
  • Always call and book a taxi from a licensed private hire or taxi firm.
  • Don’t drive under the influence.

Social media

Social media is a great way to keep in contact, especially if you’re away from home. However, think carefully about what you say and the trouble you could find yourself in if you make offensive or intimidating comments. Online abuse such as ‘cyber bullying’, may be treated as criminal and as a University disciplinary matter.

  • Use privacy settings.
  • Don’t post offensive or intimidating comments.
  • Don’t share private, personal or confidential information or material online which you wouldn’t be happy for your family or friends to see.
  • Prospective employers may view your social media profiles.
  • Remember, what goes online stays online.

Substance misuse

Using illegal drugs has serious repercussions. Don’t risk your health or your life. Why jeopardise your future career opportunities with a drug conviction? It doesn’t matter which drug or how little.

Don’t take new psychoactive substances (NPS), sometimes misleadingly known as ‘legal highs’. They can contain harmful and toxic chemicals and have been linked to deaths. You don’t know what you’re getting or what effect it will have on you. Some have been found to contain controlled drugs, meaning you could be charged with drug possession even when you thought it was legal.

Find out more about the dangers of substance misuse from Know the Score and Young Scot.

For further advice and support about alcohol, drugs and other dependency issues contact Student Services to talk to one of our advisers or counsellors.