Personal Safety

Whether this is your first time living independently or you’ve been in Wolverhampton for a while, we want to make sure you can safely enjoy your experience here at the University of Wolverhampton. There’s lots of advice and support available to help you stay safe while having fun and exploring everything that our campuses and local areas have to offer. 

General safety tips:
  • Carry your mobile phone with you at all times and make sure it’s charged.
  • Stay alert 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. 
  • Consider carrying 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: www.immobilise.com

Personal safety on campus

Information and guidance for staying safe whilst you are on campus. 

Our friendly Security team provide support and advice on campus and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your safety is their top priority, so make sure you get in touch if you need help.

Security Control Room

Available 24/7 for general security-related advice

External: 01902 322106

Internal: 2106

Emergency

External: 01902 322106

Internal: 5555

Calls to these numbers are recorded for training and quality assurance purposes

Accessible to both students and staff, the SafeZone app provides a valuable source of reassurance to people working and studying on campus. The app promotes safety in a number of ways, including giving fast access to the University's security team whenever and wherever you are on campus by allowing users to call for help and assistance when they need it most.

SafeZone has three key buttons that can be used to obtain security assistance:

  • Emergency: This allows you to contact the Security Team directly if you need immediate emergency support.
  • First aid: This allows you to contact medical assistance immediately, whether for yourself or others.
  • Talk to us: This allows you to contact the Security Team directly with a non-emergency enquiry.

Please note: Pressing a button in error can be cancelled (within 5 seconds) by tapping the button again whilst the timer is visible.

You can also 'check-in' on SafeZone if you are working alone or outside of regular hours on campus. The Check-In button allows you to share your location with the Security Team, although you do not need to be checked in to use the response alert features.

FIND OUT MORE

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 help 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

The University of Wolverhampton, Students’ Union and West Midlands Police have devised a Safer Walking Route for students at City Campus to use when walking from University accommodation to the main academic buildings. Follow the signs around campus.

Moving between the Molineux and Wulfruna sides of City Campus

When moving between the Molineux (north) and Wulruna (south) sides of our City Campus, there are three options, which include the use of the ring road crossings and the subway.

  • Molineux subway: the subway can be accessed from Wulfruna Street next to the Ambika Paul Building and from Molineux Street next to The Apprenticeship Hub. 
  • Ring road crossing: There is a ring road crossing on Stafford Street, which can be accessed next to the Rosalind Franklin Building and the George Wallis Building. 
  • New ring road crossing: In 2020, the City of Wolverhampton Council opened a new crossing which can be accessed from where Paternoster Row meets the Ring Road (close to the Ambika Paul Building, passed the subway and next to the council building) and in front of the Wolverhampton City Archives building. 

When you are moving between each side of the campus or walking in the city, it’s always best to pair up or walk with a group if possible, but if you do find yourself walking alone, here are some tips for staying safe:

  • Wear appropriate footwear.
  • Stick to the main roads and areas that are well lit and populated.
  • Plan your route. If you know where you are going, you’ll appear more confident and will be less likely to find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. Avoid wearing headphones, texting and playing games on your phone while walking alone to ensure you are aware and alert of your surroundings. You can also share your location with a friend as an extra safety precaution.
  • Walk with confidence and purpose. Would-be attackers are looking for easy targets, so don’t be one. Walk with your head held high and adopt a confident posture. If you stroll and look down at your phone, you may appear an easy target. Do not stop to check your phone or map until you are in a well-lit, populated, safe area.

 

We are committed to promoting a safe, supportive and inclusive campus environment for every member of our community. This includes support following incidents of hate crime, harassment and sexual violence.

The incident reporting process has been set up to provide a confidential route to report an incident or concern of harassment, bullying, or other inappropriate behaviour. This could be an incident that you have witnessed or an incident against yourself, either on or off-campus.

Please note that this process is for non-emergency reports. Security can be reached at any time at the following:

  • General Enquiries - Internal: 2106 External: 01902 322106
  • In an Emergency - Internal: 5555 External: 01902 322106

If you are in immediate danger, then please call 999 for the police

FIND OUT MORE

Concerned about your own wellbeing and safety, or someone else’s?

Contact the Safeguarding Team for information and guidance.

Visit: wlv.ac.uk/safeguarding

Email: safeguarding@wlv.ac.uk 

We ask that everyone:

  • RECOGNISE the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect.
  • RESPOND sensitively and listen. Avoid asking questions or investigating.
  • RECORD what you have been told accurately using exact language.
  • REFER as soon as possible to the Safeguarding Team.

If you believe someone is in immediate danger, you should contact the emergency services by calling 999.

Our Safeguarding webpages contain more information about how we protect staff and students at the University, as well as how to make a report if you have any safeguarding concerns. 

Safer Students is part of the West Midlands Police, and their website has lots of help and guidance to keep you and your friends safe.

Visit the Safer Students website

Make sure you know the difference between taxis and private hire vehicles next time you need to travel.

Taxis

How to identify a taxi

  • Have an illuminated 'taxi' roof sign
  • Will display a green plate on the rear of the vehicle

Taxi accessibility

  • All have disabled access
  • Must accept assistance dogs

Using a taxi

  • Can be hired at a taxi rank
  • Can be flagged down in the street
  • Can be pre-booked

Private hire

How to identify a private hire vehicle

  • Must have door signs displaying company logo
  • Will display a yellow plate on the rear of the vehicle
  • Must display private hire plate in front windscreen

Private hire accessibility

  • Must accept assistance dogs
  • Do not always have disabled access

Using a private hire vehicle

  • Cannot be flagged down in the street
  • Must always be pre-booked

Follow these SAFETY tips next time you use a taxi or private hire vehicle:

Share information with someone you trust about your journey and the vehicle you are in
Ask the driver to show you their badge before you start the journey
Find out which licensed taxis and private hire vehicles operate in your area and plan your journey
Examine the vehicle before you get in. Is a license displayed on the vehicle, does it look roadworthy?
Trust your instincts. If you feel worried or threatened, ask the driver to stop so you can get out
You can report any concerns to the police and your local licensing authority

Find out more about the Get Home Safe scheme from the City of Wolverhampton Council

 

More information

General information and guidance for staying safe whilst you are on campus and out in the community.

To spike a drink means to put alcohol or drugs into someone's drink without their knowledge or permission. Spiking has also come to mean injecting someone with drugs without their knowledge or permission.

The aim may be to incapacitate someone enough to rob or sexually assault them, although sometimes it is just intended as a joke – a bad joke as it is very dangerous.

Guidance from West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police have lots of officers on patrol looking for suspicious behaviour and we’re working with bars to create safer spaces for fun nights out. If you’re going out we need you to be part of our shared plans.

You can play your part by:

  • Being patient while security staff search people and check ID.
  • Looking out for each other and reporting suspicious behaviour to bar staff, police officers or city centre wardens.
  • Not leaving drinks unattended.
  • Setting the expectation that you’ll all stick together and let each other know where you are and who you’re with.
  • Keeping hydrated with water and soft drinks so you can save money, stay alert and party for longer.
  • Getting home by using black cabs or pre-booked private hires (including Uber) where you know you’re insured and drivers are trained and vetted.

Spiking is against the law. It’s a serious crime with serious consequences.

People are more aware of spiking than ever before so perpetrators are more likely to be found out.

People who have spiked someone to enable sexual activity could face 10 years in jail, and being placed on the sex offenders register.

Criminal convictions change lives. People can lose their job, their home, future careers will be affected when they know about past crimes and people may also face restrictions on travel with countries like the USA not giving visas to people with convictions for serious crimes.

If you think you’ve been spiked:

  • If you start to feel strange, sick or drunk when you know that you couldn’t be drunk, seek help from a trusted friend or staff member.
  • If you think you have been spiked, get a close friend to get you out of the place as soon as possible and take you home or to the hospital (if seriously unwell). Or ring a friend, relative or partner and ask them to come and pick you up.
  • If you feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened you can ask for help from staff and ask them for Angela. This code word indicates that you need help and a trained member of staff will then help you.
  • Make sure you can trust the person you ask for help. Don’t go anywhere with a stranger or acquaintance.
  • Once you are safely home ask someone to stay with you until the effects of the drug have worn off, which could be several hours.
  • Don’t hesitate to call for medical help if you need it. And tell us what happened as soon as possible either by calling 999 if it’s happening now or messaging us via Live Chat on our website west-midlands.police.uk the next day or when you’re safe.

If you’ve been affected by this update, the charity Victim Support can help. Call 24/7 on 08081689111.

Sexual consent means a person willingly agrees to have sex or engage in sexual activity – and they are free and able to make their own decision. Making sure you get and give consent before having any kind of sex with another person matters. Sex without consent is rape or sexual assault.

Freedom to consent means doing something because you WANT TO.

A person is not making a free choice if:

  • they or someone else is being threatened and/or intimidated through fear and violence
  • they felt forced or pressured/coerced into making a decision
  • they are being blackmailed in some way, e.g. using images or social sabotage
  • there is a power imbalance between two people; for example, due to age, status/position and/or authority or a dependency (e.g. drug/alcohol use, financial control)

Capacity to consent

Capacity is about whether you are physically and/or mentally able to make and fully understand the consequences of that choice.

A person cannot give consent if:

  • they are drunk or high on drugs
  • they are asleep or unconscious
  • they are under 13 years old
  • they have a disability which results in them being unable to make a fully informed choice at that time

Other things to consider

  • Consent is not ongoing - consent needs to be negotiated every time you have sex and also during sex as you start to do different things, regardless of any previous sexual activity.
  • Consent may be withdrawn at any time (including during sex) and can never be implied, assumed or coerced.

The checklist of consent:

  • Informed – both individuals agreeing to act
  • Mutual – clear understanding of both individuals about what is being asked for and consented to
  • Given – freely and actively
  • Communicated – in words and or actions that are mutually understandable
  • Retractable – one sexual act does not mean all sexual acts
  • Willing- agreement does not count as consent if someone is forced.

Further help

Any sexual contact or behaviour that occurs without explicit agreement or consent may be considered sexual violence. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment, assault or violence, help is available. 

No matter where you were or what you were doing, wearing and saying, whether you were drunk or under the influence of drugs – you are not to blame.

If there is no immediate threat, the most important thing is to talk to someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, Security or anyone else you feel comfortable sharing with.

Talking to a member of University staff (disclosing an assault) is not the same thing as making a formal report. If you wish to formally report an incident of sexual violence, you can complete the online reporting form.

Visit our Student Support webpages for more information on support services.

Here are some steps you can take when driving alone: 

  • When approaching your vehicle, have the keys out and ready to unlock your car. 
  • Keep doors and windows closed whilst parked. If you see anything suspicious, do not get out of your car and report it to the police by calling 999.
  • Do not keep valuables on the seat beside you. Keep them out of sight.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers or offer a lift to someone you do not know. 
  • 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. 

Here are some steps personal safety steps you can take when going on a night out:

  • With your friends, talk about where you are going and make a plan for getting home.
  • Stick with your friends and avoid leaving with someone you don't know.
  • 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 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 the venue security staff for help.

Drink spiking

To spike a drink means to put alcohol or drugs into someone's drink without their knowledge or permission. Spiking has also come to mean injecting someone with drugs without their knowledge or permission.

The aim may be to incapacitate someone enough to rob or sexually assault them, although sometimes it is just intended as a joke – a bad joke as it is very dangerous.

Guidance from West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police have lots of officers on patrol looking for suspicious behaviour and we’re working with bars to create safer spaces for fun nights out. If you’re going out we need you to be part of our shared plans.

You can play your part by:

  • Being patient while security staff search people and check ID.
  • Looking out for each other and reporting suspicious behaviour to bar staff, police officers or city centre wardens.
  • Not leaving drinks unattended.
  • Setting the expectation that you’ll all stick together and let each other know where you are and who you’re with.
  • Keeping hydrated with water and soft drinks so you can save money, stay alert and party for longer.
  • Getting home by using black cabs or pre-booked private hires (including Uber) where you know you’re insured and drivers are trained and vetted.

Spiking is against the law. It’s a serious crime with serious consequences.

People are more aware of spiking than ever before so perpetrators are more likely to be found out.

People who have spiked someone to enable sexual activity could face 10 years in jail, and being placed on the sex offenders register.

Criminal convictions change lives. People can lose their job, their home, future careers will be affected when they know about past crimes and people may also face restrictions on travel with countries like the USA not giving visas to people with convictions for serious crimes.

If you think you’ve been spiked:

  • If you start to feel strange, sick or drunk when you know that you couldn’t be drunk, seek help from a trusted friend or staff member.
  • If you think you have been spiked, get a close friend to get you out of the place as soon as possible and take you home or to the hospital (if seriously unwell). Or ring a friend, relative or partner and ask them to come and pick you up.
  • If you feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened you can ask for help from staff and ask them for Angela. This code word indicates that you need help and a trained member of staff will then help you.
  • Make sure you can trust the person you ask for help. Don’t go anywhere with a stranger or acquaintance.
  • Once you are safely home ask someone to stay with you until the effects of the drug have worn off, which could be several hours.
  • Don’t hesitate to call for medical help if you need it. And tell us what happened as soon as possible either by calling 999 if it’s happening now or messaging us via Live Chat on our website west-midlands.police.uk the next day or when you’re safe.

If you’ve been affected by this update, the charity Victim Support can help. Call 24/7 on 08081689111.

Here are some steps personal safety steps you can take when travelling on public transport: 

  • Try to avoid travelling alone wherever possible. 
  • Time your journey so that you will not have to wait long at the bus, metro or train stop. 
  • Try to avoid bus stops that are in poorly lit areas. 
  • On double-decker buses consider sitting on the lower deck, close to the driver. 
  • Be aware of others around you, listening to music on headphones or talking on the phone may impact your awareness. 
  • Utilise the campus bus when possible.

Millions of people around the world use social media. Whilst it provides a means of keeping in touch with friends and relatives and sharing information, experiences and photographs. It can also provide information to criminals, fraudsters and bullies, and so it carries some degree of risk to users.

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, symbols and characters and change it regularly.
  • Be careful not to 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 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 get caught up in a scam, 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. 

Travelling by taxi or private hire vehicle

  • Try to avoid travelling alone where possible. 
  • Have a reputable local taxi or private hire company number programmed into your phone. 
  • Before you get into a taxi or private hire care, check it is displaying its official plate and a driver ID. 
  • 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.

Hackney Carriages – Taxi

Can be used without pre-booking, for example, at a taxi rank outside a train station.

  • 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 the passenger can view.
  • The driver must wear his badge in a way that passengers can easily see the photo.

Private hire vehicles

Must be pre-booked in all scenarios. 

  • In Wolverhampton, Private Hire vehicles can be any colour, make or model.
  • It can be fitted with a roof sign displaying the company name and 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 cannot be 'flagged' down for use. 

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

By taking some simple precautions, you can reduce the chance of burglary or theft happening to you.

Burglary

  • At home and in University accommodation, always lock doors and windows, especially if you leave your room.
  • Never leave valuables unattended.
  • Close curtains and blinds at night.
  • Put valuables away or out of sight. Leaving valuables on show next to your window may 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’ to avoid saying you are out of your residence. 
  • On social media, 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 take a few moments to take precautions.

  • Activate the security code access (pin code) 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 or 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 of your cycle.
  • Remove any detachable items (E.g. quick-release seats, lights).

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 or a loan

Do not throw personal information in the bin; you should first shred it. Criminals will go through bins to obtain your information.

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 protect yourself against this happening, and if it does happen to you, where to get further help.