Leeds is generally a safe city. However, it is always best to follow these tips:
- Keep your passport safe at all times. Keep a photocopy of the important pages of your passport somewhere safe. If you do lose your passport contact the Police and your Embassy as soon as possible.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash (no more than £200). Try to bring a credit card or travellers cheques and keep these safe. Do not keep your passport and money together.
- Always have the school telephone number in your phone
- Only use licensed taxis. You can either pre-book a taxi by using the phone numbers provided in this handbook, or you can use a ‘Black Cab’ or ‘Hackney Carriage’ from the city centre. Look for the Leeds City Council permit to know that they are official taxis.
- Make sure your valuables can’t be seen through a window and never leave cash or credit cards lying around your home.
- Avoid using a laptop bag if you are carrying a laptop in public. Use an ordinary backpack or large handbag to make the laptop less obvious. Always think carefully before using your laptop in crowded places.
- Avoid displaying expensive items such as jewellery, mobile phones and iPods (including earphones!) in busy public places or at night.
- Avoid travelling alone. Travel in well lit and busy areas.
- Avoid shortcuts like paths and parks if you are alone or uncertain of the area.
- Always carry your mobile phone or enough small change to make a phone call or take a short taxi journey.
- Be discreet with your mobile. Phone theft is one of the most common crimes.
- Face outwards when using a public phone box so you can see who is around
- Cross the street if you think you are being followed. If you still feel unsafe make your way to a public place like a shop or restaurant as soon as possible.
- Avoid all confrontation, walk away if being hassled or provoked.
- Be alert when using a cash machine, never write down your PIN number and never give it to anyone. Be aware of who is around you when you take out cash.
- Do not allow strangers to follow you when you go into a locked apartment building, especially if you live in Halls of Residence
- Have your keys ready well before you reach the car or house but don’t make them obvious.
- Keep your bag close to you, especially when shopping. However, if someone tries to take it, let it go. Your safety is more important.
- Do not give out personal details or bank details over the phone or on the internet (even if they say they are calling from places such as your bank or the UK Border Agency). Write down the telephone number and name of the personal calling and say you will call them back.
If you have any concerns about your safety in school, in Leeds or in the UK in general, please come and speak to any member of the Welfare Team in confidence.