Security, Campus Operations, Personal Safety

Personal Safety

By taking a few simple precautions you can minimize the risks of being a victim. 

  • Try to stick to the University’s safer walking route.
  • Try to avoid being out on your own after dark
  • Use well lit and busy streets
  • Do not take short cuts along dark alleys or wasteland
  • Walk facing the traffic to prevent cars pulling up behind you where practical
  • Be aware of where you are, look for street or building names in case you have to phone for help

Run Hide Tell

Do you think you are being followed?

  • Cross over the road and back again - If concerned go to the nearest public place (shop, pub, etc) and contact the police
  • Depending on your location contact the police (999) or security team (01902 322106)
  • If you feel at risk, draw attention to yourself - scream or shout

Driving Alone?

  • When approaching your parked vehicle have the keys out ready
  • Try to avoid being on your own at night in the car
  • If you see anything suspicious do not get out your vehicle report it to the police (999)
  • Keep doors and windows closed 
  • Do not keep valuables on the seat beside you - keep them out of sight
  • Never pick up hitch hikers
  • Never leave your car unattended with the keys in the ignition 
  • If you have an accident in the dark in a remote area do not get out of the vehicle - lock the doors and call the police, wait for their arrival 

Public Transport?

  • Try and avoid travelling alone
  • Time your journey so that you will not have to wait long at the bus/metro stop
  • Try to avoid bus stops that are poorly lit
  • On double decker buses sit on the lower deck
  • Sit as close to the driver as possible 
  • Be aware of others around you
  • Utilise the campus bus when possible

For further information on personal safety contact University Security

Information on Drink Spiking

Drink spiking is where drugs or alcohol are added to someone's drink without them knowing.

Although drink spiking is often associated with malicious acts including violence, theft and drug-assisted sexual assault, it's also used for misguided pranks or jokes.

  • Drink spiking is illegal 
  • Maximum of 10 years in prison for anyone who is found guilty

Where are you at risk from spiked drinks?

Drink spiking can occur anywhere that drinks are available; for example. 

  • Pubs
  • Nightclubs,
  • House parties
  • Restaurants
  • Home

For more information on drink spiking and date rape drugs please click on the link below:

NHS Drink Spiking - Help/Information

Advice on Social Networking

Social networking is used by millions of people around the world. Whilst it provides a means of keeping in touch with friends and relatives as well as sharing information, experiences and photographs. It can also provide information to criminals, Fraudsters and bullies so therefore it carries some degree of risk to users.

The risks

  • Disclosure of private information
  • Cyber-stalking.
  • Prosecution or recrimination from posting offensive or inappropriate comments.
  • Phishing emails allegedly from social networking sites, but actually encouraging you to visit fraudulent or inappropriate websites.
  • Friends’, other people’s and companies' posts encouraging you to link to fraudulent or inappropriate websites.
  • People hacking into or hijacking your account or page.
  • Viruses or spyware contained within message attachments or photographs.

Safe Social Networking

  • Be wary of publishing any identifying information about yourself – either in your profile or in your posts – such as phone numbers, pictures of your home, workplace or school, your address or birthday.
  • Keep your profile closed and allow only your friends to view it.
  • Pick a user name that does not include any personal information.
  • Set up a separate email account to register and receive mail from the site.
  • Use a strong password with a mixture of words and characters and change it regularly, for example: #siT-Brake5stuN?
  • Be careful you do not say anything or publish pictures that might later cause you or someone else embarrassment. 
  • Never post comments that are abusive or may cause offence Be aware of what friends post about you, or reply to your posts, particularly about your personal details and activities. 
  • Learn how to use the site properly. Use the privacy features to restrict strangers’ access to your profile.
  • Be on your guard against phishing scams, including fake friend requests and posts from individuals or companies inviting you to visit other pages or sites.
  • If you do get caught up in a scam, make sure you remove any corresponding likes and app permissions from your account.
  • Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online. 

Advice when using Taxi/Private Hire

Travelling by Taxi/Private Hire

  • Try to avoid travelling alone
  • Have a reputable Taxi or Private Hire company number programmed into your phone 
  • Before you get into a Taxi/Private Hire check it is displaying its official plate
  • Always sit in the back if travelling alone
  • By law the driver is required to wear an ID Badge, look at the photo for identification 
  • Be aware of the route you are travelling on

Hackney Carriages – Taxi

  • In Wolverhampton most taxi’s will be the colour black
  • All taxi's will have a roof sign displaying the word ‘TAXI’
  • Hackney carriages will have a square hackney licence plate fitted to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Every taxi must have a meter fitted within the vehicle that can be viewed by the passenger
  • The driver must wear his badge in a way that the photo can be easily seen by passengers 

Private Hire

  • In Wolverhampton Private Hire vehicles can be any Colour.
  • Can be fitted with a roof sign displaying the company name and the words ‘Private Hire’
  • A Private Hire Licence plate must be fitted on the rear of the vehicle
  • The driver must wear his licence so that the photo can be easily checked
  • The vehicle must be pre-booked

Please Note: If in doubt do not get into the vehicle and report it to the police immediately

Advice with Racism & Hate Crime

The United Kingdom has a diverse and multi-cultural society with a wide variety of religions and ethnic groups. Wolverhampton, like any other city in the world, can suffer from incidents involving discrimination instigated by a minority of people. The UK’s Race Relations Act is one of the most comprehensive laws against racial discrimination in the world.

If you are subjected to Racism or a victim of Hate Crime contact your Faculty or Campus Security. The University of Wolverhampton has a formal procedure to assist any member of staff or student who feels they have been discriminated against.

Burglary & Theft

Burglary and Theft

By taking some simple precautions you can reduce the chances of it happening to you.

Burglary

  • Always lock doors and windows, especially if you leave your room
  • Never leave valuables unattended
  • Close curtains and blinds at night
  • Leaving valuables on show next to your windows make a tempting target
  • Get a timer for your lights so it looks like someone is at home
  • Answer machines – Use the words ‘I am unavailable to take your call’ avoid saying you are out
  • Facebook/Twitter – avoid putting on that you are away or checking in at an airport etc

Theft

Mobile phones and laptops are a particular favourite of opportunist thieves. It is natural to relax and drop your guard when you feel safe but just take a few moments to take precautions.

  • Activate the security code access on your phones and laptops Record your serial and IMEI numbers
  • Download a reputable tracker system
  • If working in the library, avoid leaving your valuables unattended,
  • Are you working on a laptop? If you have to go somewhere for a short time and it is impracticable to take it with you, ask someone you trust to keep an eye on it until you return.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended even for a moment

Cycle Thefts

  • On campus always use the cycle parks/lockers provided by the University.
  • Use a good quality solid, secure lock.
  • Lock your cycle through the frame and wheel
  • Record the make, model, serial number and security mark your cycle
  • Remove any detachable items (E.g. quick release seats, lights)

Fraud/Scams

Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial

Fraud comes in many different forms:

  • Advance fee fraud
  • Bank card and cheque fraud
  • Career opportunity scams
  • Cash point fraud
  • Counterfeit goods fraud
  • Door-to-door sales fraud
  • Fronting
  • Government agency scams
  • Identity fraud and identity theft
  • Loan repayment fraud
  • Phishing
  • Rental fraud
  • Spam emails

Type

Definition/Example

Advance Fee Fraud

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters request people to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Bank Card Fraud

Bank card fraud happens when criminals steal your card and gain access to your account. Gaining this access to your card or account allows fraudsters to take money from your account and/or run up a credit bill. You will usually notice this when you see unfamiliar transactions on your bank statements and/or if your card is refused when making a purchase. 

Career Opportunity Scams

Career Opportunity Scams allow fake businesses to advertise job adverts promising to launch an individual’s career. This can often require an upfront fee which results in the career/benefits never been delivered. 

Cash Point Fraud

Cash points are targeted to commit fraud by skimming an individual’s device, whilst they watch you putting in your pin number and then clone your card. 

Protecting yourself

  • Look closely at the card insertion point before using it
  • If you identify that the machine has been tampered with after you have inserted your card, contact the police and notify your bank
  • Use your hand to shield the keypad when entering your pin number 

Counterfeit Goods Fraud

Counterfeit goods fraud involves passing off fakes as originals, including, fake mobile phones, designer clothes, pirate dvd's, CD's and computer games. These items are often sold at car boot sales, pubs, markets, door-to-door, online, etc. 

Victim of counterfeit goods?

  • Consumer Direct: 08454 04 05 06 

Door-to-door Sales Fraud

This involves an individual selling you goods or services in your home or on your doorstep. Many honest businesses use this marketing/selling technique - but so do fraudsters. Any individual selling door to door must also have a licence from the local council.

Door-to-door frauds can be in many forms, including:

  • Pressure selling
  • Unfair contracts
  • Overpriced or substandard home maintenance or improvements 
  • Phoney consumer surveys
  • Fake charity collections

Be wary of opening the door to strangers/someone who wants to get inside of your property. Once they get through your door they can take note of your valuable and any security measures you have. 

Fronting

What is Fronting? - Fronting is a form of car insurance fraud, when someone claims to be the main driver on a car insurance policy when they are not. 

Fronting involves a higher risk driver, such as a younger driver is added as a named driver to a car insurance policy; when in fact they are the main driver, user and owner of the vehicle. If a driver is found to be fronting they may have their policy cancelled, face prosecution for fraud and also will find it difficult to get insurance again the future. 

Government Agency Scams

Government agency scams are when fraudsters send out official looking letters/emails to ask for money or personal information. The correspondence gives you the impression that they are from a government department and imply they have some form of authority. The letter or email might advise that you must register in order to comply with a form of legislation - for a small fee, requesting you to pay a fine for breaches to the law, requesting bank details to claim a tax rebate. 

Identity Fraud/Theft

Identity theft: When your personal details are stolen. 

Identity theft happens when fraudsters access enough information about an individual's identity such as, name, date of birth, current/previous addresses. If you are a victim of identity theft, it can lead to fraud that can have a direct impact on your personal finances. Until the matter is resolved it could also make it difficult for you to obtain loans, credit cards and a mortgage. 

 

Identity fraud: When those details are used to commit fraud.

Identity fraud can be described as the use of that stolen identity criminal activity to obtain goods or services by description. Fraudsters can use your identity details to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards, loans, state benefits, obtain documentation (passports and driving licenses). 

Loan Repayment Fraud

What is Loan Repayment Fraud? - Loan Repayment Fraud targets people who may have taken out loans. The fraudsters often use a company name that is similar to an existing loan company. The individual will send out letters claiming the recipient has missed a repayment deadline and now owe their original debt plus a 'penalty charge' of more money. 

 

How to protect yourself against loan repayment fraud? - Check your original paperwork and contact the company you took the loan from to check your repayment dates against their records, ask questions - if someone is legitimate they won't pressurise you or be elusive and if you are a victim of fraud to contact Action Fraud or the police. 

Phishing

Phishing is a method used by fraudsters to access valuable personal details, such as usernames and passwords. These can have a monetary value to criminals; phishing can involve sending malicious attachments and website links. In an effort to infect computers or mobile devices criminals send infected (virus) files. Often these appear to be authentic communications from legitimate organisations, there may be embedded links within the message, re-direction to hoax websites and also the website may record your login and personal information. 

'Spear-phishing' is a technique whereby criminals use personal information to earn trust and lower the intended victims defences, increasing the chances they may open attachments or embedded links. 

Action Fraud

Rental Fraud

Rental fraud happens when 'would-be' tenants are tricked into paying an upfront fee to rent a property; when in reality the property doesn't exist or has already been rented out. Rental fraudsters often target students looking for university accommodation; this is a type of advance fee fraud. In order to protect yourself from rental fraud you are advised to check property existence with the University, the university [Link to Accommodation Services] will be able to advise all home and overseas students. 

Spam Emails

Spam emails are emails that are sent out to millions of email addresses to try to gain personal information. Once personal information has been gained, fraudsters can use it to commit fraud, which could include financial institution fraud, credit card/identity fraud. 

 

Action Fraud

Protecting Your Identity

Identity theft is big business for the modern day criminal. By obtaining your personal details or bank details they can

  • Obtain a driving licence
  • Purchase a car
  • Passport
  • Open a bank account
  • Obtain credit cards and/or a loan

Do not just throw personal information in the bin; shred it. (Criminals will go through bins to obtain your information to sell on)

Before throwing away any documents check and make sure they do not show

  • Your date or place of birth
  • Your bank details
  • PIN numbers
  • Any personal information

The website Information Commissioners Office can help you to protect yourself against this happening and if it does happen to you where to get further help.

Vehicle Crime

Vehicle Crime

  • Do not leave valuables, bags or other objects in view - even if they are of low value
  • Put your Sat Nav out of sight if you are not using it
  • Try and park in a busy car park
  • Look out for CCTV signs within the car park 
  • Think about what time you will return to your vehicle - park in areas that are well lit
  • Ensure the vehicle is locked
  • Consider using a steering lock

Travelling alone by car

  • Do not leave your handbag/valuables on the seat use the glove box or boot.
  • Lock your doors
  • Be aware who is around you when you stop at traffic lights
  • Check you have more than enough fuel for your journey
  • Before you start your journey check there are no warning lights displayed
  • Know your route - is there an alternate route if the road is closed?
  • If you have an accident or break down in a remote area, do not get out of the car, contact the police
  • The recovery services and the police will deal with lone females as a priority

Parking and Alternative Travel

Parking, Emergency services

Property Marking

It is important to mark your valuables so that should they be stolen, there is a greater possibility of them being returned.

We advise that you mark your property with your home postcode and house number. Do not use your University details as these are likely to change throughout your University career. Use the stickers that are provided to advertise that your property is marked.

West Midlands Police and University Security will be carrying out free property and cycle security marking sessions for staff and students occasionally throughout the year, so watch out for the posters.

It is also advised that you register your property. You can create a free and secure private portfolio of your property at www.immobilise.com

This service is recommended by the UK Police Forces and helps identify owners of lost and stolen property, combats the sale of stolen goods and simplifies insurance claims.

Safer Walking Route

The University of Wolverhampton, Students’ Union and West Midlands Police have devised a Safer Walking Route (PDF 510K, Downloads file) for students to use from the accommodation to the main academic buildings. Follow the signs around campus.

Security Help Points

Security, Campus Operations, Control Room, Help point

Around the campus you will notice help points, these are a direct line to the Security control room which is staffed 24/7. 

If you need some general information or assistance, for example if you have lost your room keys; press the button on the Help Point and someone will be sent to aid you. 

Likewise if you are feeling unsafe use the Help Point and we will watch you on CCTV until we can get someone to you, or you are safely in your residences.

The location of the current Help Points can be found in the Help Points Location Document (PDF 963K, Downloads file)

Securing your Cycles

It is recommended that all cycles are secured using a suitable  lock.  A greater number of modern cycles are being manufactured with “quick release” wheels, if your cycle has these make sure that you secure your bike lock to the rear wheel through the frame and if possible remove the front wheel and lock this to the rear also.

To find the nearest cycle rack please consult the Cycle Parking Document (PDF 975K, Downloads file)