Please note that our PUL officers are not always on shift, so any crimes or urgent matters should be reported via 101 (non-emergency) or 999 in an emergency. You can contact Gary and Sean to ask for advice or guidance or attend one of their drop-in sessions.
Durham City Police Office, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AQ
If you're in need of some advice or guidance from our friendly Police University Liaison Officers, you can drop in to see them in the TLC or the Bill Bryson Library during term-time - follow @durhamwellbeing on Instagram for details of scheduled drop-in sessions.
Below, PC Gary Thompson offers advice on staying safe while living in Durham.
The following bullet points summarise the video content:
A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) exists in Durham, meaning no open alcohol is allowed in the streets. You could be fined if you are drinking anywhere other than a licensed venue
Know your limits when you're out, and make sure you look after friends
Follow the Night Lights map when returning home in the dark to keep to lit routes and avoid riverside paths
Get into good security habits: lock doors and windows so that you don't give thieves any brief opportunity to gain access. Keep valuables out of sight
Be aware of tailgating (allowing someone you don't know to follow you into a building through a secure door). This is relevant in any secure building, including College accommodation with security access systems. You should feel comfortable politely challenging anyone not known to you if they appear to be tailgating intentionally - or speak with a member of staff if you prefer
If you have a bike, use a good D-lock to keep it secure and use your bike lights to keep yourself safe
Keep the noise down, especially between 11:00pm and 7:00am
Consider your neighbours when you're up late and also when walking home
Donate to charities that work with the homeless rather than giving directly to someone who is begging
With regard to behaviour that does not meet the standards expected, remember that one mistake could cost you your dream job or a visa
What should I report to the Police? There is a guide to types of crime and what to report, as well as links to Victim Support information, on the Police website.
Excessive noise that occurs during the day should usually be reported to Durham County Council. We have an Anti-Social Noise Procedure which means overnight noise, such as parties and loud music, can be reported to 101. These reports are then attended by the University Security Community Response Team.
How do I report something to the Police? A non-emergency crime or incident, such as anti-social behaviour or theft that has already happened, can be reported online or by calling 101. If it is an emergency, for example, someone is at risk or a serious offence is in progress or has just happened, call 999. You can find out more about how to report on the Police website.
If you would prefer to speak to a female officer, this can be requested.
Do I have to pay any money to report something or seek advice from the Police? No, you do not need to pay to make a report.
Do I need a lawyer to go to the Police? No, you do not need a lawyer when making a report to or seeking advice from the Police.
If you do want to seek some legal advice for any reason, contact your College or Durham Students' Union for help. You could also check out the information on the Citizens' Advice website.
How can I keep my belongings safe? Close and lock all doors and windows when you leave your College room or your house/flat, ensure that you keep cash and valuables out of sight in accommodation and avoid using your mobile phone in isolated places.
Unfortunately, crime cannot always be prevented, but you can ensure you have adequate personal belongings insurance, that you mark your possessions with a UV pen and that you register the serial numbers of your electronic equipment on Immobilise (a free UK-wide national property register supported and used by the UK police forces). You can ask your College for further advice if you have any queries. If you are a bicycle owner, make sure your bicycle is security marked and securely locked when left unattended.
Don't carry lots of cash and avoid using cash machines in quiet or dark spots when possible, always putting your cash and card away quickly.
If someone tries to take something from you in the street, let go of it. You might be injured if you try to hold onto a bag, for example. Try to remember what you can about the attacker to provide a description to the Police.
How can I keep myself safe? It's not the victim's fault if someone commits a crime at their expense, however, there are steps you can take to minimise risk:
Let someone know where you are going
Plan ahead and know how you are going to get home at the end of a night out
Take a (charged) mobile phone with you
Ensure you have the numbers of some local taxi firms. Don't get into a taxi that you haven't booked
Use the DSU Night Cab (£2.00 per person within a 2-mile radius of the City Centre)
Always leave a restaurant/club/pub with a friend or group of friends. If possible, do not walk home alone or let others do so
Carry a personal alarm with you
Do not walk home by the river at night
If you think you are being followed, try to stay calm. Cross the road or double back to see if your suspicion is correct. Head for a busy place such as a shop or restaurant. At night, you may be able to find a shop that's open late or even knock on a friend's door. Although your instinct is probably to keep looking over your shoulder, don't. Turning round repeatedly may provoke a confrontation if the person following knows they've been seen. If you're under immediate threat, call 999. There are personal safety devices/alarms and apps that might provide reassurance when you're walking home
Look out for each other in College and when living out and if you have any concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a friend contact your College office immediately (or call the emergency services if necessary)
Save an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number in your phone by putting the 'ICE' prefix before the person's name in your phonebook or using your phone's Emergency Contact settings. You should also provide the University with the contact details of someone who has agreed to be your emergency contact (read the Statement on Information Sharing and Emergency Contact in Student Support)