Whether you are on a session or tea total, doesn’t necessarily matter. When you are going out in a city anywhere in the world, dangers can occur, even in Sheffield. When large crowds of people and alcohol or other substances are involved this can increase the risks. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy nights out with your friends. Going out in the amazing choice of venues from the student bars to the nightlife of West Street in the city centre. It’s an experience we think everyone should try. Just be prudent enough to follow our tips on staying safe on student nights out in Sheffield
1. Plan your night ahead when having a student nights out in Sheffield
We don’t mean write out an itinerary for you and your mates! 8.30 drinks in Weatherspoons for 30 minutes before moving on. We mean plan out which part of the city you’re going to and where you are planning on ending up as your last stop. If your going out with friends this is the best way to keep together if separated.
2. Stay with friends or keep connected and your phone charged.
It’s not always where you go, but who go you with that can define a great night out. Stopping with them is not just fun but a great safety consideration as there will always be someone watching out for you and you watching out for others. If you do get separated having a charged phone means that you can contact someone to find out where they are or call for help if needed.
3. Be aware of Spiking
No one wants to think this will happen to them, but an unfortunate part of the modern night-time economy is the risk of drugs and drink spiking. The number of incidents has risen in the last 20 years, but thankfully so have the preventative measures. Being unknowingly spiked with something can in the worst-case scenario be fatal if you have a reaction to the unknown substance. Some top tips to help protect against drink spiking
- Never leave your drink unattended, – Don’t pop it down to nip to the toilet or nip outside to the smoking areas. You don’t know what happens to it when you’re not watching it. Many bars will remove unattended drinks so they may even be cleared away if you are not with them.
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers. – If a stranger hands you a drink, don’t accept it, if a stranger offers to buy you a drink go to the bar with them and watch the bar staff and stranger. Check the journey from the bar to you and keep an eye out for any tampering.
- Watch the bar staff get/make your drinks – Bar staff are responsible for your wellbeing, but watching them make your drink in front of you is not only prudent to see what’s going on in it. (you can be spiked with too much alcohol, not just drugs) but make sure you get the correct order.
- Use your own straws and spiking covers. Straws left on the front of a bar for customers to help themselves mean anyone can tamper with them. Anti spiking covers for glasses and bottles can stop others from tipping anything in your drink whilst you’re not looking.
- Feeling Unwell ask the venue staff for help. It’s the responsibility of the venue for your well-being it is up to them to prevent anything from happening to you or to take care of you if you’re unwell. Failure to do so can result in them losing the ability to open and trade. It’s in their best interest to look after you and have trained first aiders available
In 2021, 2,201 people across England and Wales reported incidents of spiking, This scary figure is believed to be only from 1 in 12 reported incidents. The epidemic rise of this phenomenon is scary and the late-night economy has rolled out many measures to help combat it. Many venues have licensing requirements that they have CCTV, but in terms of safety if you have someone with you at all times that you trust in case you become unwell is the most prudent defence.
With substances like ketamine and GHB used to inject into victims these drugs have a low half-life and the body can get rid of them in as little as 12 hours. If you are unwell and admitted to the hospital ask for a blood test and then report it to the police.
Local interest groups are successfully campaigning for venues and authorities to implement measures to make going out in Sheffield safer you can follow their progress here.
4. Don’t get involved in situations and confrontations where possible.
Someone said something to your mate that got you riled up. Who do they think they are? Are you going to have a word with them? Drink and or drugs in anyone reduces inhibition, giving people the attitude that they are right and can take on anything or anyone, sadly this isn’t the case, arguments under the influence can easily blow out of proportion,
What seems like a disagreement can spill over into violence, some situations fizzle out themselves, and others result in arrests, but the worst possible outcome can come from something as simple as one punch. Just one blow can cause death and ruin multiple lives. Many campaigns have sprung up over the past ten years to highlight the strategy of drunken arguments turning into fighting all have the same message of prevention to be the hero and walk away. Removing yourself from the situation can quickly de-escalate it. Is it really worth getting involved?
5. Look after your belongings on student nights out in Sheffield
Losing or having your wallets/Purses/Keys/ID/Phones stolen isn’t the end of the world, but it’s an inconvenience and cost that can cause a bigger headache than drinking. Keep your belongings on you at all times, If possible take as little as possible out with you. Keep items concealed away in zip pockets, bags or jackets.
If you do lose your phone/bank card cancel it straight away to prevent you from being liable for any charges. Order replacements as soon as practical. Check if insurance covers the cost, either through your bank account, your insurance or your parent’s insurance may cover you away from home.
If you’ve lost your keys, contact your landlord to replace your locks asap. This can be costly but if your keys are lost with something that has your address on you open up the possibility of burglary.
6. Seeking help if needed
If you ever feel unwell, lost, too drunk or need advice. Don’t delay to seek help. If you are in a venue, the staff have a duty of care towards you.
Ask Angela Initiative
The initiative applies to women, men, straight or LGBT + who may be on a date or on a night out but are feeling uncomfortable or even threatened. They can approach the staff of the premises they are in and use the code words “Is Angela in?” The staff will then know that the person is in need of assistance and will help to remove them from the situation and call a taxi if necessary.
The idea is simple; Street Pastors is a ministry to those in the pubs and clubs of our town, working to be a prayerful, listening and caring presence of Christians from local churches between 10 pm and 3 am at weekends. The friendly faces will always offer help and advice to revellers on a night out.
Street Pastors engage with people on the streets to care for them, listen to them and help them. They work together with other partners in the night-time economy to make communities safer.
Each city project is set up by Ascension Trust and run by a local coordinator. With support from local churches and community groups, in partnership with the police, local council and other statutory agencies.
South Yorkshire Police
The police keep a presence and regularly patrol the city centre at night. The Sheffield City centre neighbourhood policing team focuses on:
- Tackling so-called ‘street culture’ – including ASB, drug use and drug supply
- To reduce commercial and residential Burglary
- Reducing crime and ASB
- Reducing serious and violent Crime – in particular in the nighttime economy
- Addressing vulnerability in the nighttime economy
Reporting crimes and incidents can help them focus on the tight areas to direct resources and improve safety for all revellers in Sheffield City Centre.
7. Know how you’re going to get home after student nights out in Sheffield
If you planning on walking home make sure you walk back with others. Keep to well lit main roads where ever possible. Dark quiet streets and being alone can increase the chances of you becoming a target of crime.
Safe Taxi Scheme
If you’ve run out of money on a night out, then you can still get safely home by taking advantage of the Safe Taxi Scheme. This Unique scheme is open to all students of Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam.
All you need to do is call City Taxis on 0114 239 39 39, remembering to quote ‘Safe Taxi Scheme’.
Once you arrive at your destination, instead of paying, you can hand over your UCard. The taxi driver will give you a receipt and will return your UCard to the Students’ Union welcome desk.
All you need to do is simply take your receipt along to the welcome desk. There you pay the taxi fare and get your UCard back.
About Thornsett Properties
Thornsett Properties have been providing student accommodation to students enjoying many student nights out in Sheffield since 1985. We supply accommodation to over 650 undergraduates and postgraduate students studying at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University every year. Designed to fit with your budget whilst looking for student accommodation. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents. This means all our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. Our aim is to help you succeed in our student accommodation in Sheffield