Cambridge is a fantastic place to go to university, but safe as the college system may feel, it is not immune to crime. It is still important to take good care of yourself and your possessions, to ensure that you don’t become one of the 33% of university students who become a victim of crime.
Wherever possible, avoid walking around Cambridge alone at night. If it is unavoidable, contact the porter’s lodge before setting off. The Queens’ porters can be contacted on 01223 335500. Porter’s at other colleges are also in a good position to make sure you get home safely. If the only safe way home is by taxi, keep a receipt and the college can reimburse you.
In Freshers’ week, free personal alarms will be made available to all students. You can request another one, again free, at any time from your welfare officers (see ‘Who’s who’). Remember to carry it with you – it will not make walking alone at night safe, but could make all the difference.
Theft, criminal damage and burglary account for 70% of crimes against students, what with most student rooms containing either a laptop, mp3 player, mobile phone or digital camera (if not all of the above), it’s easy to see why they are prime targets!
If you have been affected by crime, help is always available. Take a look at the CUSU page on how to report a crime to the police for more details. Alternatively, you can always call Crimestoppers on 0800555111. This is an anonymous service, so no-one will ever know that you made the call, you will not have to make a statement, and you will not have to appear in court.
For more information about how to keep yourself and your possessions safe whilst at university, check out the student safety page by CUSU; it has details on everything from insuring your possessions and locking up your bike, to reporting crimes and victim support.
If you believe a crime to have taken place within college, the best place to go is always the Porters’ Lodge. The porters will call the police if needed, and can make sure that any necessary gates are opened to allow access for emergency vehicles.
Unfortunately bikes are frequently stolen in Cambridge. At Queens’ we have ample storage space for bikes on our main site. Bikes locked up on college grounds very rarely go missing, so always lock your bike here at night. Bikes left around Cambridge, at faculty buildings and at the station in particular, are more vulnerable.
Wherever you leave your bike, make sure it is locked up with a good quality lock. Always lock the frame of the bike to a solid post. If you only lock the wheel up, a theif may remove the wheel and take the bike. If you don’t lock the bike to an object, they can just remove the whole bike.
If your bike is stolen, report the theft to the police. They will want to know details about the bike, for example the frame number. This should all be recorded on the registration form which you hand into the porter’s when you first bring a bike into college.