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How New Students Can Stay Safe in Nottingham

21 September 21 words: Emily Thursfield
illustrations: Natalie Owen

If you're just starting university and no longer have the ‘rents watching over your shoulder, you need to take responsibility for yourself. That includes staying safe around the city, and being a standup member of your local community. Student living is fun, but remember, your neighbours have jobs, families or may be elderly, and they won’t like listening to your drum and bass at 4am on a Tuesday. Take heed of this advice...

Keep coronavirus at bay

The virus is still about, and with students from all over the country flocking to the city to study it’s important that everyone stays vigilant. Make sure to follow the government guidance: isolate if necessary and remember to wash your hands regularly making sure to give ‘em a proper scrub. Do ya bit and get ya vaccine too - you can find out how to book or find walk-in clinics at gov.uk. Remember, we’re all in this together.

Look after your mates when they’ve had a few too many

While it may be fun watching your pal dancing like a loon after one too many Jägerbombs, it ain’t gonna be fun if they get themselves into trouble or end up passed out on the dance floor. If your mate’s starting to look a little bit sloppy, take one for the team and get them home to bed.

Don’t leave anyone alone after dark

Look out for UoN’s Nottingham Night Owls or the Nottingham Street Pastors in their high vis vests. These guys are here to make sure you all get home safely after a night out and they’ll probs offer you a lollipop or two if you’re lucky. If you’ve run out of cash, you can still avoid walking home in the dark - Nottingham Trent Students’ Union has an agreement with Nottingham Cars so you can get a lift home but pay the next day.

Be on your guard

There are some types who like nothing better than to end the night with a punch up, or something more sinister. While we don’t reckon a sensible type like you would ever get involved in a scrap, it might be worth checking out your university’s self-defence classes. There are also a number of programmes offered around the city which can help you build your confidence, such as Gracie Barra, who combine self-defence and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Don’t get in a dodgy taxi

Notts has two kinds of taxis: hackney cabs, which you’ll often find in the city’s taxi ranks, and private hire vehicles, such as Uber. Remember, it’s only legal to hail a hackney cab on the street without pre-booking, and they legally cannot refuse your custom. Don’t be gerrin in any private hires without booking by phone, online or by app, because you’ll be uninsured. Using an app, like Uber or FreeNow, is a good idea as it gives you a record of your journey.

Don’t flash your new stuff about

We understand that getting new tech is exciting, but can you imagine having your laptop robbed just as a 3,000-word essay is due? Have your fifteen minutes of smugness when you whack out your new Macbook in a lecture, and then get over it. We’d hope nobody would nick a year's worth of work from you, but you can never be too careful. Basically, if you don’t need it, leave it at home.

Make it hard for burglars

It sounds simple, but get it done: lock all those windows and doors. Make sure you’ve got home insurance, too. Ask your estate agent or halls if it’s included. If not, check out Endsleigh; they offer student-friendly contents insurance.

Bring the bleddy bins in

The council and your new neighbours aren’t going to be best pleased if you leave your rubbish out on the streets for too long, and it can really make your street pong too. You’ll have different colour bins so familiarise yourself with what you can put in each because you can get into trouble if you don’t comply. Have a look online to find out when your bin day is too.

nottinghamcity.gov.uk/reportit 
nottinghamcity.gov.uk/bin-and-rubbish-collections

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