manchester.com student guide

Safety in Manchester

The advice given below is not meant to shock or scare. A lot of it is common sense, to make people aware, that being streetwise helps keep you out of harms way.

Your Home
Ensure that your landlord has provided sufficient security for your home. A fully functional alarm is essential, as are locks on windows and doors. Simple things like locking doors and windows before you go out or go to bed should be remembered and be vigilant when answering the door - there have been many cases of students opening the front door without checking who it is and being bundled into their homes by opportunist thieves.

Night Bus
I have lost count of the amount of times flash points occur on the night bus. Friendly banter is one thing but alcohol-fuelled bravado is another. Okay so you might get away with some bare faced cheek in your home town or maybe no one gives you grief because you are well-known there but that's not going to keep you out of trouble in Manchester.

Essential advice: if you are at all concerned don't sit upstairs on night buses because this is where trouble tends to rear its ugly head. And generally speaking if you do go upstairs the further back on the top deck of the bus you sit the more chance of being in the middle of something going off. After all if you are at the back of the night bus where is there to run?

Picture this: you and your mates have had a bucket-load of booze and some football fans are shouting their mouths off. You know what? Ignore them. Admittedly sometimes this is easier said then done but keeping a low profile on the night bus is the best way of avoiding potentially painful altercations. It may seem like tosh when you have been out on the booze all night long, but if one of your friends is being mouthy and ruffling a few feathers, have a quiet word in their ear, be mature - act as a peacemaker.

Walking around late at night
Personally I have walked the length and breadth of the City at all hours of the day and night. I consider myself to be a nightwalker but if you are unsure about the area why not call a taxi. If you can't afford it, crash over at your friends for the night. And if you do have to walk the streets at night - stay alert.

The best advice about walking around late at night for females is don't bother - unless you are accompanied by friends. Carrying a personal alarm is a sensible option. For females - it's a must. Lads might see carrying a personal alarm as a ridiculous over-the-top precaution but most violent crime occurs against young males. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Lads if you are walking around late at night and on the same side of the road as a female, do the right thing and cross over. You might know you are not following her, but she doesn't.

Also a common tactic used by dodgy characters at night is to ask for a cigarette or to ask for the time. This is sometimes a tactic to weigh up your accent, or to see how vulnerable you are. The best policy, I have found, is to keep on the move, once you stop, that's when an attempted attack might take place. Also be firm but fair; don't take any unnecessary crap from people. Finally - and this is a tactic I have employed more than once - if someone is freaking you out or attempts to rob you, run like the wind.

Transport home from Union
There are night-time shuttle bus services available for females from the University's to student halls. This should be made the most of. Contact your student union advice centre for more details.

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