As someone who had never lived in the centre of a city before moving here, I had some questions and concerns relating to my personal safety before I moved here. People I knew were telling me to “avoid walking home alone” and to “walk through the more populated streets if you have to walk home alone.” But sometimes it’s not all that simple, especially if you’ve just left the library after a solo study session at 1:40am on a weekday.
While there are some things you can do yourself to keep safe, the University and the Dundee University Students’ Association have things in place to make sure you get from the Union or the library to your front door, and that you feel protected in doing so.
DUSA runs a night bus for those who live off-campus which now functions every night. The night bus is completely free, and will take you straight home after you’ve been on campus until late, for whatever reason. You can find the timetable for the bus online but generally, it runs until 02:45 on a club night and 23:45 every other night. You can catch it just outside the Union, and if it’s not there when you get there, it’s just because it covers different routes each night and leaves at different times depending on who’s getting on it. You shouldn’t have to wait too long for it to come back.
DUSA also has an agreement with Dundee Tele Taxis, which is particularly useful if you’ve run out of cash on your night out. You can get into the taxi, and leave your matriculation card with the driver. The driver will then leave your card with DUSA, and you can go collect your card at the DUSA reception the next day – and of course, pay for the taxi.
There is also an on-campus security team which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Their office is situated just behind the library. They have an emergency number and non-emergency number you can phone if you need to report an issue, which I will leave at the bottom of this post with some other useful numbers. You might see them patrolling the campus at night and they’re usually in high-visibility clothing so you can recognise them if you need their help. There are also emergency buttons located on Old Hawkhill, by the car-park entrance to Belmont, and on Small’s Wynd just beyond the library, which will put you in direct contact with them.
While the University and the Union have these things in place specifically for us, like I said before, there are things that you can do yourself to get home safely from campus.
Even if you intend to study by yourself when you get to the library, it doesn’t mean you can’t still go with a friend who lives nearby to your flat, or a friend that you can split your taxi with. The library does have sections for silent study and sections for group study, so it might be reassuring, if you anticipate that you might be there until the AM, to know that there is someone there that you will get home safely with. You don’t have to study with them or talk to them while you study because they’ll probably be just as appreciative to have you there to walk home with as you are to have them.
Additionally, if you are walking home with someone who lives in the same area but you live on different streets, or you share a taxi but can’t see your friend physically get through their door, ask them to text you when they get in and make a deal to text them as well, just to reassure them that you got home safely.
Generally, Dundee has a very safe city centre, which is perhaps due to the fact that a significant percentage of those living in the centre are students. The campus portion of the city is specifically devised for students, and that’s you. Regardless, sometimes it’s just comforting to know that you have the means of getting home safely, which the city and the establishments on campus provide for very well.
Here’s a list of telephone numbers you might find useful to copy or screenshot:
Dundee Tele Taxis: 01382 825 825
DUSA: 01382 386060
Police Scotland (Non-Emergency): 101
Nightline (8AM-8PM): 01382 381 183
Campus Security Emergency: 4141 from a telephone on campus (like the red phone you might have seen in the living space of your on-campus halls) or 01382 384141
Campus Security Non-Emergency: 85850 or 01382 385850