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Reporting crime

Most students never have any trouble at university, and you can cut down on your chances of being a victim of crime by reading the advice in our articles on Top home security tips and Safe partying. However, it’s still important to know what to do if anything does happen to you, or if you witness or are worried about crime.

Contacting the police

If you’ve been physically attacked, sexually assaulted or mugged or you think there is a burglar in your house you should telephone 999 immediately and ask for the police. You should also call 999 if you see a serious crime being committed. You will need to give details of the crime and where it happened to the operator, who will send the police straight away. The 999 operator can also send other emergency services like an ambulance or the fire brigade.

Remember that 999 is the emergency number, and most only be used for serious crimes. On other occasions, call 101 instead, which puts you through to your local police force. Use 101 for crimes like having your bike stolen, criminal damage to your property, or if you’ve been burgled and are certain the criminals are no longer inside. You can also report these crimes at your local police station. Doing this means the police can respond more effectively to other, more serious 999 calls.

What happens next?

Once you’ve spoken to a police officer, you will be asked to give a statement describing what has happened. Make sure this is as accurate as you can remember. The police will then give you a crime number, which you should keep, and information about what will happen if they need to contact you again. Anyone who has been the victim of a serious crime should be offered immediate help at the police station.

Who else can help?

If you’re worried about crime, you don’t always have to ring 999 or 101, since other people might be able to help.

Police Student Liaison Officers

Most police forces employ Student Liaison Officers. These are officers specifically trained to deal with student issues, and are the people to speak to if you are concerned about crime in your area, or want advice about personal safety and home security. Many police Student Liaison Officers hold information sessions for students on campus, and your university will have their details if you need to contact them directly.

Campus security

If you see something suspicious on campus or in your Students’ Union, or think something might have been stolen there, try to find a security guard. They will be able to help you straight away, and can call the police for you if necessary.


Crimestoppers is an independent charity that lets people report crime without revealing their identity. You can call them anonymously on 0800 555 111, or use the online form on the Crimestoppers website. Crimestoppers will never pass your name to the police, so there’s no danger of anyone ever finding out that you contacted them.

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