Tips to help you stay safe in Cardiff at night.

Uber

An ideal option for a student who has no card or money on them but needs to get home. With a working internet connection or 3G/4G, you can book on the app where to be picked up from and they can take the money straight out of your Paypal or card details provided. Additionally, there are several student codes for first timers that guarantee you a free ride up to £15 - including MYUNIBASICS and STS15!

Panicguard app

Downloading this app is key if you’re insistent on walking home. By creating an account, you can keep an emergency contact’s details safe (whether it’s a boyfriend, friend or your family at home). Simply shaking your phone a lot can send a text to whoever your contact is, saying that you’re in danger. Real-time updates can be given to your contact as to where you are in case you can’t call the police yourself. It also maps out where you are and alerts you when the area you’re in is potentially dangerous, to see if you can reroute yourself. With free fall detection, if you’re knocked unconscious or hurt before you can alert somebody, the app will call for help immediately. The best part - if you are recognised as using the app and asked to turn it off, by generating your own ‘duress pin’, it can seemingly turn your alert off while making your situation ‘more severe’.

Watch how much you drink

While this sounds far too victim blame-y for my taste, it’s still a factor. I’m sure if you were looking for trouble, you’d find it easier with an intoxicated individual rather than a sober one. Being too drunk can lead to you losing your things, getting spiked, and taking risks such as getting into a stranger’s car for a lift home or befriending someone potentially dangerous. If you know you’re too drunk, do not risk walking alone especially in the dark - you really can become a target for someone who wants to take your things or hurt you.

Take precautions

While obvious, many don’t do it! Work out how you’re getting home before you go out, whether you have the money to do that and who you need to ask for help if you need it. Little things like who you’ll stay on the phone with, who you’ll book a taxi with or what you’ll keep in your bag in an emergency can make all the difference. Many people don’t expect students to be wary or careful when they’re out, so help derail that stereotype and be vigilant.

“ Safety is more important than convenience. ”
– Don Hambidge

Dragon student safe scheme

A helpful contribution from Dragon Taxis, the Student Safe Taxi Scheme offers to help you anywhere in Cardiff and take you home, free of charge at the time. By calling them and quoting the taxi scheme, they only need your name and student number to take you back. Available 24 hours a day, you can have a ride up to £20 to either halls, your student address, a police station or hospital and pay it back in the next few days to the University.

Cardiff student night walk

A generous development in Cardiff University is student-run night walk. To help any students who are in the position of walking home late and don’t want to, there are volunteers that can meet you on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10pm and 3am. They can walk you home and provide strength in numbers, as well as advice on what to do if you’re in that situation again or are on a regular basis.

Know the area

This is crucial, as Google Maps will often take you the windiest way through alleys and unknown streets to get you back quicker, and taxis may also take advantage of your lack of knowhow if they’re taking you home. Ask around or research - which streets are always busy (such as ones with 24 hour supermarkets, late night kebab shops or student havens) and which are dead at night? Nothing is more unnerving than a poorly lit, silent street with maybe a few people lingering on corners here and there. What’s an extra five minutes walk if you’re walking down a main road as opposed to a side street?

If you find it’s too late to plan any of these, ring someone who can help you.

Contact: 

101: police non-emergency number if you’re a bit nervous
999: someone is seriously scaring or threatening you
02920874444: Uni security if you’re in trouble by the University campus


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Written by Hannah Newberry, 10 months ago
Agree? Disagree? You can tweet them here @hanxnewbs