Keeping Safe In Oxford

Oxford is a fairly safe city, but it is always important to be prepared and cautious when you are travelling at night or whilst out socialising.

Section (4.6) of The Student Accommodation Code contains useful information on how to keep safe:

Travelling around Oxford

If dark or late at night…

  • Avoid getting off the bus one or two stops early just to save money, make sure you plan ahead for your journey home.
  • Always carry enough change and/or a telephone card to make a call or to get a taxi (even if you have a mobile).
  • Use a taxi if you are unable to get collected by the OUSU or Brookes Safety Buses (the GCR has a taxi fund for true emergency taxi use).
  • Stay safe and alert, don’t listen to iPods or personal stereos or have long conversations on mobile phones.

Arriving home…

  • Make sure no strangers follow you when you walk through the main entrance to the flats or college.
  • Call the Porters’ Lodge/the Police if you suspect there is a stranger on the premises.

Walking at night…

  • Avoid taking shortcuts, for example, through badly lit places such as parks or alleyways.
  • Walk on the pavement, facing oncoming traffic, so that you are visible.
  • Be alert and brief when using a mobile phone, and try to conceal it when not in use.
  • If you think you are being followed, cross the street (more than once if necessary), and if you are still unhappy move as quickly as possible to a public area, such as a restaurant, bar or late opening store, and telephone for help. It is not necessarily the best idea to use the first telephone that you see if it is in an isolated spot.
  • Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards or strap it over your shoulder. Use a bag that has a zip or properly closes. Keep the bag closed when walking home.

Using transport at night…

  • If travelling by bus, try not to wait alone at bus stops. At night sit downstairs on the bus where the driver can see you. Arrange for others to meet you if you are returning particularly late or have a long walk home.
  • Consider using an “Oxford Key Card”, which is a pre-paid bus top-up card and means that you don’t have to use cash.
  • Keep the number of a taxi company that you know handy – never use an unlicensed company.
  • Confirm the driver’s details when they arrive – is it the taxi you ordered?
  • Make sure the taxi driver has a photo ID and the vehicle has a licence displayed on the inside and outside of the vehicle with Oxford City Crest on.
  • Always sit in the back of the vehicle and carry your mobile phone in your hand so it is easily accessible.

Cycling safety

See the Oxford Student Union Bike Safety & Security page for useful guidance on cycling safely in Oxford.

  • Use a taxi if you can’t walk or cycle home safely.
  • Keep the number of a taxi company that you know handy (in your mobile contacts or download one of the mobile apps for a local taxi firm) – never use an unlicensed company.

General safety tips

  • When using a public phone, stand facing outwards, so that you can see what’s going on around you.
  • Be aware of others around you at cash point machines and try not to use them at night or in poorly lit areas.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you when you are out.

Useful contacts

  • The Police – in an emergency, call 999.
  • The John Radcliffe (JR) is the local 24-hour Accident and Emergency hospital located in Headington. Buses 10, 13, X13, 14, 14A, 17A, & 17C go directly from various Oxford locations to the hospital; buses 8, 9, 280, 400, and U1 stop in Headington close to the Osler Road entrance to the JR.
  • University Counselling Service (2)70300.
  • Nightline 8 pm to 8 am, 0th to 9th week (2)70270; view Nightline website here.
  • Rape Crisis Centre 726295.
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centre: website.
  • The Samaritans 08457 909090 or 722122.

Directions to external sites from Green Templeton College

St Margaret’s Road

  • St Margaret’s Road is 4 streets north/1km.
  • 5 St Margaret’s Road, OX2 6RU is on the right/west of Woodstock Road and 33, 34, 38 and 39 St Margaret’s Road, OX2 6LD on the right/east.
  • There are bus stops on Woodstock Road and Banbury Road adjacent to St Margaret’s Road.

Houses between 1-16 Observatory Street OX2 6EW and Lord Napier House, 48 Observatory Street OX2 6EP

  • Use the side entrance through the college gardens into Observatory Street (between numbers 8 and 9) or turn left and first left from the main college entrance.

Rewley Abbey Court (RAC) OX1 2DD

  • This is near Saïd Business School at Rewley Abbey Court, Rewley Road, Oxford, OX1 2DD. No direct bus service. Avoid canal towpaths and footpaths in the dark and stick to Walton Street/Hythe Bridge Street, Rewley Road. The fire station is next door to RAC and manned 24/7 and you can ring their doorbell for help.