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Student Safety

Read helpful tips to stay safe on and off-campus.

University is an exciting time for many students. It is however incredibly important that you still prevent yourselves from becoming victims of crime. Regrettably, some Students are targeted by criminals as they often own items of high value, such as laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

Please read the following tips to ensure your safety is maintained:

Online Watch Link (OWL) App

  • Hundreds of police and council officers use OWL in Hertfordshire and London to send crime alerts, advice and updates directly to the public. You can receive local alerts for FREE simply by downloading the OWL app. No registration or login necessary.

    The OWL app works across all of Hertfordshire and half of London.

Personal safety

  • Take care to keep bags fully zipped whilst walking around during the day and night.
  • Be aware of those around you whilst using cash dispensers, and do not unnecessarily handle money in public.
  • Be extra vigilant when walking around at night.
  • Keep mobile phones and ipods out of view, thieves often target those who have expensive items on show.
  • Do not hand over money to someone you do not know. This includes transferring money to an unknown bank account. 
  • Cybercrime can present itself in various ways, including scams or fraud, virsues or hacking, identity theft or stalking,  harassment, abuse or bullying. Read more on the Hertfordshire Constabulary's website about how you can protect yourself from cybercrime.

Secure your home

Whether you live on-campus or in private off-campus accommodation, ensure windows, gates and doors are locked. It only takes a matter of seconds for a thief to reach through an open window and snatch a laptop on a table or bed. 


  • Do not leave car keys in open view, as these can easily be picked up by unwelcome visitors.
  • Register valuable items (laptops, mobile phones etc) online with
  • A lamp set on timer may deter a burglary from targeting your home.
  • Keep curtains and blinds drawn to prevent people from seeing inside your property. 
  • Going away for a a length of time? Take home expensive items such as computers or laptops.
  • Flatten and dispose of cardboard boxes for new electrical appliances in the recycling bin, rather than leaving them outside your home. Thieves will often target houses if they know you've just bought a brand new TV! 
  • If Contents Insurance is not included in your rent, arranging your own cover would be sensible. Some policies include 24 hour replacement of items such as laptops (please remember to read the police conditions), which is useful around work deadlines and exams. 
  • Don't forget to back work up! If your laptop was stolen, what would happen to your revision notes and assignments?  

Please notify your Landlord or Letting Agent if you have any security-related concerns.

Taxi Safety

Travelling by taxi is a common transport option for many, however it is important to make sure the vehicle is licensed. An unlicensed taxi is operating illegally, and may put you and other passengers at risk. Sensible precautions include:

  • Pre-book at busy times, or if you have special requirements.
  • Check the taxi is displaying the official licence plates and driver ID badge.
  • If there is a journey meter, check the minimum fare amount and ensure this is has been reset after the previous journey.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.

Hate Crime

A Hate Crime is any criminal offense that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon a victim’s disability, ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Hate crime victims may experience:

  • Physical assault
  • People swearing or making abusive remarks
  • Spitting or insulting gestures
  • People doing things that frighten, intimidate or cause distress
  • Bullying
  • Arson
  • Having property stolen or damaged
  • Disputes with neighbours

Incidents of Hate Crime can be reported via the Police non-emergency number 101. In an emergency, where there is an immediate threat to life or property, please phone 999.

The Hertfordshire Student’s Union is also a third party Hate Crime reporting centre. Don’t ignore it – Report it!

Beacon Victim Care Centre is your gateway to victim services available in Hertfordshire. If you have been unfortunate enough to have been a victim of crime, you can speak with a member of the victim service team on 03000 11 55 55.

You can also speak directly to Victim Support on 0808 16 89 111. All calls are treated in the strictest of confidence.

Useful Contacts

Police (Emergency): 999
Police (Non-Emergency): 101
University’s dedicated Police team: 

  • PC Sarah Sherlock
  • PCSO Carl Donovan
  • PCSO Nick Doe


Sign up to the Online Watch Link (OWL) to get up to date local safety information.

Hertfordshire’s Students’ Union Advice and Support Centre

Receive free, confidential and impartial advice and support on a wide range of issues; including personal, academic, social and health matters.

Opening Hours: 10.00am – 4.00pm Monday – Friday.

Email: Tel: 01707 285022

On-Campus Security Team

01707 281010 - internal extension 1010, or in an emergency 01707 285555  - internal extension 5555

University of Hertfordshire’s Off Campus Student Support

For off-campus student advice and guidance, please contact the Community Liaison & Support Officer (Dean of Students Office):

Email : 

Telephone: 01707 285165

Contact Us

Herts SU Advice Centre

Hertfordshire Students' Union

Today - Closed
Our team aims to respond to e-mail queries within 2 working days or less. Pre-booking appointments is advised; please contact the team via e-mail or complete our online appointment request form to do this.
Herts SU, College Lane Campus

Community Student Support Officer

Office of the Dean of Students

Today - Closed
We are out of the office quite a lot, due to carrying out regular off-campus house visits. If you call please leave a message.
Room B440, College Lane


Today - Open 24 Hours
Security Control Room, College Lane and de Havilland

Residence Life Team

Office of the Dean of Students

Today - Closed
Outside of office hours, in an emergency please contact Security (01707 281010 internal 1010)
B440 , College Lane
Today - Closed
Residential Services Office , De Havilland Campus