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Staying safe

Safer Neighbourhood officers

Safer Neighbourhood Officers will be in student areas over the fresher’s period and at other key times during the year. They work to keep your area safe and tackle antisocial behaviour. They can also advise you on local services and support available.

Personal safety

Don’t be a victim of crime by following these hints:

  • Make sure your phone is password protected and all banking or shopping apps have security features and are restricted with a password – this will make it harder for people to take advantage of your personal details if you lose your phone.
  • Keep bank cards and loose cash locked away safely or on person at all times.
  • Always lock your car and keep valuables out of view. If possible, push wing mirrors in to avoid damage from anti-social behaviour.
  • Keep all valuables in your accommodation hidden or locked away when you aren’t home.
  • Always lock your bedroom door when you aren’t home.
  • Protect against laptop theft - remember to back up your work regularly.
  • Protect against identity fraud - don’t leave personal documents (such as bank statements, drivers licence and passport) in communal areas.
  • if your phone is stolen, contact the police and remember to inform your network provider - keep a record of your IMEI number, this can obtain by dialling *#06#
  • Use cash machines during the day and be aware of your surroundings - never write down your PIN.
  • Be vigilant on nights out if you bring your bank card – contactless allows at least 5 transactions of £30 per day – you don’t want to wake up in the morning with no money in your bank account.
  • Make your home look occupied in the evenings and at the weekends - leave lights on or use timer switches.
  • Activate your burglar alarm if applicable.
  • Lock up before you leave, take your valuable items home at weekends and holidays.
  • Avoid letting strangers into your home – this is when unexpected theft is most likely to take place.
  • Lock your front door even when your house is occupied and never leave any windows open when no one is home – if someone sees an opportunity to break in, they will make it happen.
  • If you live in a flat, do not let strangers into your block – this leaves all tenants in your flat vulnerable.
  • Always walk in groups at night and never abandon your friends in a nightclub.
  • Only use registered taxis which have a GPS tracking.

Good relationships with neighbours can help ensure suspicious activity is reported.

In an emergency call 999. In a non-emergency contact local police on 101.

You will also find crime prevention advice and other useful information on www.psni.police.uk

Sexual assault and rape

Drink responsibly so you are not left in a vulnerable position – Excess alcohol can increase someone’s vulnerability, but offenders who take advantage of someone’s intoxication are still committing a serious offence.

Excessive alcohol may cloud your judgement and normal body functions – if your friends are in this vulnerable state, never leave them alone to care for themselves.

Don’t leave drinks unattended, try to cover your drinks when you’re holding them in a crowd or talking to friends.

Remember, no means no. There are no blurred lines, if someone doesn’t give consent, do not try and change their mind. Taking advantage of someone who cannot give consent is a crime. Alcohol is not an excuse for sexual violence.

Travel by a GPS tracked taxi or walk in groups at night. Plan your journey home. Always walk through brightly lit streets. Remember your safety is worth more than the cab fare home!

If you do become the victim of an attack phone 999.

Health

The nearest hospital to the university area with an accident and emergency unit is the Royal Victoria Hospital. The number for emergencies is 999. 

University students are urged to get the meningitis vaccine before starting university. Mixing closely and living with new people who carry the meningitis-causing bacteria can lead to the meningitis disease spreading.

For more information on meningitis visit the NHS website.  

Drugs

It’s important that you know all the facts about what drugs contain, what the risks are and where to get help if you need it.

Try www.talktofrank.com for information about types of drugs, as well as links to local and national services.

Visit your campus website for more information on student support surrounding drugs -


Sexual health

If you are going to have sex, make sure you and your partner always use protection. It could save you from getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or causing an unwanted pregnancy.

You should get regularly checked for STDs at a GUM clinic.

Belfast Trust HSC offers information on GUM Clinics in Northern Ireland, how to book an appointment and what they offer.

Ulster University offer an onsite GUM clinic on their Jordanstown campus.

 

Queen’s University have their own health centre with sexual health services.

Fitness

Get fit, active and meet new friends through exercise at our parks and in our leisure centres. We've got lots of activities to help you relax and take a break from your studies.

Leisure centres

We have 10 leisure centres in Belfast which are managed by Better, but your closest centres are listed in the areas below:

 

Area Leisure centre
Holylands Indoor Tennis Centre and Ozone Complex - which also offers tennis and climbing courses throughout the year
Stranmillis Olympia Leisure Centre
St Mary's University College
Falls Leisure Centre

 

Exercise outdoors

If you prefer to exercise outside you can visit our parks for free and enjoy walking, jogging or cycling in pleasant surroundings. Parks in and around the greater university area include:

Take a jog or walk around Botanic Gardens and the Annadale Embankment. We also have student bowls at our pavilion, if you are interested in trying something new.

You and your friends can enjoy a game of basketball or outdoor tennis on the courts at Ormeau Park and there’s no need to book.

For a full list of parks, playing fields and open spaces in Belfast, visit our parks section.

Contact us
Community safety
028 9027 0469
Community Safety
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP