Safety

Safety

Aberdeen is one of the safest cities in the UK and has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag ten times, commending the safety and security of Aberdeen's nightlife. You can find out more about the Purple Flag programme here.

Despite this, it is still important to know how to try and keep yourself and others safe, both on campus and in the city, especially at night.

Information on common safety issues can be found below alongside support services and advise on reporting a crime.

If you are looking to report a crime or find support, please click here.
If it is an emergency or you are in immediate danger, please call the emergency services on 999.

Keeping Yourself and Others Safe

Partying and Staying Safe at Night
  • It is important to always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Stick to well-lit, busy roads with pavements and avoid shortcuts through parks or alleyways when it’s dark.
  • It can be useful to have a personal attack alarm that you keep accessible on your person so you can use it immediately if you need to. Remember that carrying weapons such as knives or pepper spray is illegal.
  • If you are on a night-out, let somebody you trust know where you are going, who you are meeting and how you plan to get home at the end of the night. 
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended as it increases the risk of your drink being altered or spiked with dangerous substances.

Find out more about how to keep yourself safe on a night-out here.

Spiking

Spiking is when someone is given alcohol or drugs without their consent. Spiking can be done in different ways such as someone adding drugs or extra alcohol to your drink or by injecting you. Drink spiking is the most common method of spiking. Spiking by drink or injection is illegal. 

Being spiked is never the fault of the victim. However, there are steps you can take to try to keep yourself safe:

  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Don't accept drinks from people you don't know
  • Don't drink or taste anyone else's drink
  • Return your drink to the bar or throw it away if it doesn't taste right

More information about spiking can be found here.

Click here to find out how to report a crime of spiking and where to find support.

Consent

If you’re sexually active it is important to understand consent. Consent (permission) must be given every time by you and the person you are engaging in a sexual act with. It is sexual assault to engage in any form of sexual act without consent.

You can find out more about consent here or watch the video below.

Click here to find out how to report a crime of sexual violence or harassment or where to find support.

 

Gender Based Violence (GBV)

Gender based violence (GBV) can affect people of every gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality, or background. It can include physical, sexual, verbal or psychological abuse. You can find out more about GBV here.

Click here to find out how to report a crime of GBV and where to find support.

Safety Services and Support

Bus Travel and the 9U Shuttle Bus Service

Aberdeen is well served by buses, with a city network run by First Bus and a larger network covering further afield areas run by Stagecoach. You will find the bus routes, timetables and fare information on their websites.

The 9U Bus Service is free for students and staff travelling between Hillhead, Old Aberdeen and Foresterhill. Please show your ID card when boarding the bus. The timetable can be found here.

Watch our vlog on Transport in Aberdeen on our Student Channel.

National Entitlement Card - Free Bus Travel Scheme for Under 22s

If you are under 22 years old, you are eligible for free bus travel in Scotland. Freebus.scot provides information on the scheme and how to apply.

Rainbow City Safe Taxis

If you are in an emergency, you can call for a Safe Taxi through the Rainbow City Taxis company. More information can be found here. You must be a fully matriculated University of Aberdeen student with an ID card to use this scheme. Find out more here.

Rainbow City Taxis: 01224 878787

Car Parking on Campus

The University of Aberdeen has limited car parking available and it is therefore recommended that you use alternative transport. For further information about car parking at the University, visit the Estates Parking page

You will find information on student parking annual permits and daily app/web payments.

Campus Security

The University has its own 24/7 Security Team who are based at both the Old Aberdeen Campus and the Foresterhill Campus. The Security Team can assist with a wide variety of both emergency and non-emergency security and personal safety matters including lost property. The Safety Team can be contacted 24/7 on:

  • 01224273327 (non-emergency)
  • 01224273939 (emergency)

Both these numbers can be found on the back of your University of Aberdeen ID card.

Ask for Angela

If you feel unsafe in a bar or club, you can go to the bar/venue staff and Ask for Angela. The venue staff will know you need some help and call you a taxi or assist you to leave discreetly.

Nightline

Nightline is an anonymous and confidential student-run listening and information service there to listen to whatever you need to talk about. Nightline is contactable every night. You can find out more here

The Nightline Phone number can also be found on the back of your University of Aberdeen ID card

Victim Support

Confidential, free support for victims and witnesses of crime is available through Victim Support Scotland. Find out more here.

You can also contact Student Support.

Bicycle Safety and Security

Using a bicycle is a great way to keep fit and an affordable way to travel across campus and the city. If you are using a bicycle, remember to always wear reflective clothing and cycle in the same direction as the traffic.

Bicycle Security
  • Register your bike on a secure, Secured by Design (SBD) recognised national database. The police will check these databases if they find bikes in the possession of a criminal or in the street to identify the rightful owner. A bike carrying a database stamp is a highly effective, visible deterrent to bike thieves as they know that if they are caught with a registered bike they will be arrested, as the rightful owner can be traced by the police within seconds.
     
  • Remember to record as many details of your bike as you can, such as the make/model, size, colour, frame number (normally found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in), plus any other distinguishing features, and take a photo.
     
  • Security marking your bike using a SBD recognised forensic asset marking or etching kit is another highly effective, visible deterrent to thieves and an established method of reducing theft.
     
  • It can take thieves as little as a few seconds to cut through some locks that haven’t achieved the Police Preferred Specification, so use two good quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock (sometimes referred to as a U-lock).
     
  • Secure your bike as close to the stand as possible to give any thieves little or no room to manoeuvre.
     
  • Lock the frame and both wheels to the cycle parking stand. Locks are considered more vulnerable when they come in to contact with the ground, so keep them off the floor.

There are plenty of places to secure your bike on campus. These racks are generally in well lit areas and are covered by CCTV or overlooked. You can find out where you can store your bicycle and the types of storage available on our campuses here.

Bicycle Theft

In case of a bike theft on campus, it is recommended that you first report it to the Campus Security team (in-case they’ve moved the bike themselves as it was causing an obstruction) and then also report it to the Police.

Online Safety and Security

Knowing how to keep your online data and information safe is important. You can find out more about how to protect your data and improve your online security via our toolkit.

Police Scotland have also released some guidance on how to stay safe online; please see below.

For help, advice and to report all IT incidents, you can contact IT services.

Reporting a Crime

Reporting a Crime to the Police

If it is an emergency or you are in immediate danger, please call the emergency services on 999.

You can report a crime to the Police through the following methods:

  • Phoning 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency only)
  • Online reporting form*
  • Attending a local Police Station

*The University has recently become a 3rd party reporting venue, which means we can report to the Police on your behalf. Please get in touch with Student Support to find out more about this.

UoA Confidential Online Reporting Tool

You can use our online confidential tool to report any incidents or acts of harassment, bullying, violence, targeted hate or sexual misconduct.

For more information about the tool or to submit a report, please click here.

You do not have to make a formal report in order to discuss what has happened to you or to access support. Please contact Student Support and ask to speak with a Student Support Adviser. You do not have to disclose anything over email if you don't feel comfortable doing so, just explain that you would like to discuss a personal matter.