University, Staying safe, University Security, Security Services

Going to university? Here’s how to stay safe

Moving to university is one of the most exciting and biggest milestones in any young person life. With students being able to experience their own independence, making new friends and experiencing the most famous week of all Freshers week.

However, with the Coronavirus causing many university traditions to be vastly different from what they were before, there are aspects of university that will remain unchanged by the pandemic.

And one aspect of university that won’t change is security. Whether that’s securing your accommodation or looking after your own personal safety. As mentioned before, that’ll be the very first time that students have been able to live independently from their parents in either student accommodation or private rentals.  Living independently will certainly pave the way in learning and gaining life experiences but to aid students in this process and ensure they stay safe; we have a very handy guide for new and returning students.

Is your accommodation secure?

Whether you are in student accommodation or private housing, it’s important that where you are going to spend your time during university is secure and safe. Criminals see students as ‘Easy targets’ for burglary and theft. According to the office of national statistics, students are 7% more likely to be victims of theft than the rest of the population. Most student accommodation block will have their own security systems in place such as key card or fob entry systems. But if you are in private accommodation ensure that your property’s doors and windows have adequate locks on them and when you leave the property, ensure that all the windows and doors are securely locked.

Protect your possessions

Many students will agree that they cannot go without their phone, laptop, or other electronic goods and this can make them a profitable target to thieves. To ensure your valuables are kept safe from prying eyes, keep them out of sight and out of view of any doors and windows. If you’re living with multiple people you may want to lock your own room so no one can gain access.

If you are looking for a hiding place for your valuables don’t go for the obvious hiding places such as under your mattress or in the sock draw because they will be the first places that criminals will look. To ensure your valuables are kept safe think creatively. Hollowed out books or re-purposed food containers are great hiding places.

Consider personal belongings cover

Although your landlord will have home insurances for your home, it won’t cover your own valuables from theft or damage, so it is up to you to cover your own personal belongings. You can find insurance deals that are designed specifically for students and their valuables and can offer protection against theft and hazards such as fire or flooding. Although it is tempting to save yourself some extra cash by not taking this type of insurance out, it could save you thousands of pounds in the long run and will give you peace of mind.

Secure your bike

Having a bike is the quickest way of getting from A to B. But with many students using them and often aren’t being secured effectively, they present an easy target to criminals. To ensure you bike is covered, you can add it to your personal belongings cover that is previously mentioned above. However, if you are cycling to university, you should lock your bike at a bike shed and use a second lock to secure removable parts such as wheels. Most student accommodation blocks will also have a bike shed, but if you are in private accommodation then it is best that you bring your bike inside to prevent it being stolen under the cover of darkness. Also, to give you further peace of mind you can register your bike with the Bike Register, a national database used approved by the police force. This will help the police identify your bike and return it to you safely.

Keep your personal information safe.

Personal information can be just as valuable and profitable as physical valuables to it’s important that your personal information is secure. It can be devastating when fraudsters gain access to your bank account and steal thousands of pounds. To avoid your information being stolen, shred any paper that will contain such information (bank statements, insurances, gas, and electricity bills). To ensure your online data is safe, use anti-virus software on electronic devices such as your phone, tablet, and laptop, use strong passwords and avoid oversharing information on social media.

Ask for ID

By law students in rented accommodation are entitled to 24hour notice if the landlord wishes to enter or send someone to the property. Therefore, this allows you to be aware that someone outside of your home is coming to your property and allows you to act accordingly. And if you haven’t received notice of anyone coming to your property, you legally allowed to deny entry to your property (whether that is your landlord or a maintenance worker). If someone does try to gain access to your home, always ask for ID and try and contact your landlord for verification before letting them in. If you feel suspicious of them or don’t feel safe, say ‘No’.

If you need help, seek it

University is both an exciting time and a daunting time for students. While some will enjoy university life, for others leaving home and being separated from their parents, friends and family can be difficult and can have an impact on their mental wellbeing. For many universities, student mental health is a major priority for them, and they’ll often offer counselling services, workshops and courses for students who are struggling to adapt to university life, academic pressure, or mental health issues.

For more information on mental health wellbeing at university, take a look at students minds or the UK mental health charity Mind.


If you are in need of professional security solutions, contact us on 01656 713950 or visit our website for further details

Freshers Week, Freshers, Cardiff, Swansea, RCT, Newport, University, Students, Cardiff University, Cardiff Met, University of South Wales, Swansea University, USW, A&R Security Services, Security Services

University Guide – Keeping yourself safe during Freshers Week

With the university academic year starting soon, the biggest student party will be marked on every student’s calendar – Freshers Week!

Bars and night clubs in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and RCT will be filled to the brim with students through the week – all looking to enjoy a good time. But Freshers week is the perfect time for criminals to strike – pickpocketing phones and/or money, administering drugs to un-suspecting students or dealing drugs to students who want to experience illegal highs.

So, with Freshers week fast approaching, what can you do to keep yourself safe?


Take a cheap or older phone – Phones are one of the most targeted items by pickpocketers. Often if pickpocketers see an older or cheap phone, they won’t attempt to take it from you.

Keep your phone or wallet in front of you – A lot of students will often put their wallets or phones in their back pockets and female students will have handbags which can be easily reached by pickpocketers. To prevent pickpocketers from going after your phone or wallet, place them in the front pockets of your trousers and keep your hand on top. If you have a handbag, make sure that it is in front of you and keep your hand on the zip or clasp so no one can open it and reach in.

Use a passcode and Install ‘Find my Phone’ – Having a passcode is a basic but secure way to make sure that no one can gain access to important information on your phone. If your phone has been stolen, a passcode can act as a way to prove if your stolen phone is in fact either the pickpocketers or yours. If you are worried about your phone being stolen, install ‘Find my Phone’. This allows you or security to track your phone and is a fast way of getting your phone back.


Sexual Harassment or attack

Sexual Harassment or attack – If you are in a situation in a night club/ bar or outside and feel that you are being harassed or going to be potentially attacked, get the attention of security guards on doors or any police that are present. If you are with friends and cannot get the attention of security or police, tell them immediately and try to move away.

Stay in a group – Staying in a group ensures that you don’t get separated by anyone trying to harass you. Don’t wander off on your own and if you are going to the bar or toilet, tell your friends where you are going so they know where you will be and will expect you to return.

Report it – If you or a group of friends see any sexual harassment or attack on another person, immediately report it to security or police. Don’t ignore it.


Anti-Social Behaviour

Stay out of arguments or fights and report anything which gets out of hand to security.

If you feel uncomfortable in a night club or bar, move somewhere else to save arguments or anti-social behaviour.

Report anything suspicious to security staff or call 999 in an emergency – such as people in possession of weapons.



Illegal Drugs – If you are in a night club/ bar make sure that your drink is in front of you or is covered by your hand. If you are by the bar getting a drink, make sure to keep track of your drink while it’s being made or served and if you see anything suspicious, send it back and request another one. If you see someone slip something into another persons’ drink – let that person know not to drink their drink and report it to security.

If you are outside or in a bathroom inside the bar/night club and are offered drugs – do not accept them no matter how much either the dealer or others try to persuade you. If you do see any drug deals or any other suspicious behaviour – report it immediately to security or police.

If someone is under the effects of drugs – report it to security or police so that they can notify emergency services.



Although there haven’t been many reported attacks on night clubs and bars during Freshers week it is still important to remain vigilant.

Suspicious Activity – If you see anyone acting suspiciously or see a suspicious object such as a bag, report it immediately to security or police and move as far away as possible.

Emergency – If you do feel that there is an emergency get the attention of security or call 999. If there is an emergency, keep calm and follow the instruction of security staff or the police.

Take a portable charger – If there is an emergency or you are separated from friends in an emergency, take a portable charger to keep your phone fully charged so that you can contact emergency services or friends.


A&R Security Services provide professional security services in Cardiff, Swansea, Bridgend, Newport and RCT. If you are interested in manned/ mobile security, alarm installation and monitoring, and secure key holding services – call us on 01656 713950 or visit our website.