This article was first published in 2016. In light of recent world events, we’re currently reviewing our safety guidance and will be releasing revised information before the start of term. In the meantime, take a read of this blog post as a starting point for staying safe on campus.
It can be nerve-wracking moving somewhere new, especially if you’re not from a big city. Staying safe might be on your mind, but rest assured – we have a dedicated Security team right here on campus.
Head of Security at the University of Salford, Trevor Jones, gave me a tour around the University’s state of the art control room before chatting to me about how he and the rest of the team successfully keep students safe.
Hi Trevor. What do you think of Welcome Week?
It’s the most exciting week of the year, without a doubt. You see all the new students thrilled to be here and trying to find their way around. There’s lots of activities going on and it is simply the best week of the year.
What advice would you give to new students on staying safe during this time?
Keep new electrical items private and safe. Don’t walk around flashing new laptops and iPhones so the world can see, it’s a really good way to get robbed if you’re not careful. Also, don’t leave them to charge and then disappear as this is an easy way for any would be thieves to get their hands on your devices.
A lot of students also tend to lose personal items such as passports, wallets and driving licences. This is because they’re not used to having to constantly look after them, so just be careful.
What are the main things that you look out for when wandering around campus?
People who stand out. Like a lot of campus security teams, we work closely with our local police force and they alert us to suspects to watch out for across the city – we’ve got photographs of them in all of our cabins.
We also look out for students who bring expensive bikes onto campus with really poor quality locks. We know that the local thieves will be after them within an hour. We try to advise these students to get a better lock or to store the bike in one of the safe and secure bike shelters on campus.
Are there any unexpected things that security tend to help with?
We get involved with all sorts of things! A lot of students forget to bring enough money out with them and they can’t get home, some forget their student cards so they can’t get through swipe doors and sometimes we help people who have a few too many drinks – although you might expect that one!
There are a lot of things that you wouldn’t normally expect and some really weird first aid issues.
What is the strangest thing that you have had to deal with?
The strangest thing that I’ve seen myself probably has to be a student trying to ride a bike up the steep banking outside Maxwell Building, between the river and the road. He kept falling off backwards and he was actually sober at the time as well. It’s all part of the fun of campus life!
Wow! Do you have to contact the emergency services very often?
We contact the emergency services for a variety of reasons and mainly I’d say it’s the ambulance service that gets called. People trip, fall, have accidents, play football and injure themselves. It’s not usually very serious, but it’s best to get someone who’s fallen checked out to keep everyone safe.
You’ve mentioned a wide range of things that you and the team can help students with. What is the overall priority of security?
Keeping students safe is our number one priority, so that everyone has a good environment to learn in.
As well as our team, you can look out for the campus police officers too. If you’re ever stuck, security is based in Maxwell Building and we’re open 24/7 – even on Christmas day – so feel free to come and find us.