If you ask anyone about Hatfield, they will tell you that it is an exciting and cool place to hangout. However, Hatfield also has its dangers, especially at night. What appears to be upbeat streets with students having good times also provides dangerous scenarios.
We have compiled a list of safety tips from current and former students on surviving in Hatfield.
- Don’t walk alone at night. Stay with a group of friends if you must stay late on campus.
- Don’t carry all your assets with you. Try keeping the amount of cash and gadgets on your person minimal.
- Don’t walk where there are no street lights or where there isn’t much human activity.
- Don’t stay too late on campus. The cut off time for staying on campus is 10pm. That’s when the library closes and the residence bus services end.
- Don’t take shortcuts or try new routes on your way home.
- Don’t be on your phone to a point that you’re not aware of your surroundings. Yes, we love Wi-Fi and that it is accessible all over Hatfield and you are bound to be glued to your phone chatting while walking, but this will make you an easy target.
- Use blue (or safe) routes. These you will get from campus securely.
- Ask to be escorted by campus security.
- Have self-defence equipment with you, such as pepper sprays, tasers, whistles or even a flashlight.
- Trust your instinct and gut feeling. If something (could be a group of people, or a person approaching) gives you an uneasy feeling, listen to it and call security or police. Rather be safe than sorry.
- Let someone you know (a friend, flat or roommate) that you’re on your way home and which route you’re using. This will help them know when to expect you home, and to know where to track you should you take longer to get there, or don’t arrive home.
- Be aware of what time it is and when it’s getting dark. You may think 18:00 or 19:00 is still early, but you’ll be surprised by how many incidents occur around that time.
- Be very suspicious and conscious at all times. This relates to having your instinct do all the work, listening to it and actively keeping an eye on anything odd or off.
- Use a traceable taxi service or catch the campus bus if you must leave campus late.
We are all looking for a great time around campus and it’s frustrating that we must look over our shoulders all the time, however, that’s the reality of residing around a breath-taking area and being in a gated and highly secured campus. Criminals look for opportunities to mug you. So remember these simple tips, share them with your mates and make them your daily get-by points.
Moreover, keep in mind the following emergency numbers and locations for safety and crime reporting: 012 420 2310/2760, 083 654 0476 and 080 000 6428.
Campus security offices are located at the Admin building and the Brooklyn police station is on Duxbury road.
Image: Sally Hartzenberg