Campaign to fight street violence, rape and fires

April 16, 2004

Edinburgh University student leaders will next week launch a major "stay safe" campaign with advice ranging from how to avoid street violence and date rape to preventing fires in flats.

Sarah Nicholson, vice-president of Edinburgh University Students'

Association (Eusa), said: "There is a huge range of information on all these things, but nothing that brings them together or specifically targets students."

She said the campaign was sparked off by several attacks on students during the first term of the academic year. A 20-page booklet, which will be handed out to students, warns them to work out how to get home before they go out and to stay with people they trust.

Eusa has also produced a credit-card-sized list of key phone numbers, including local police stations, taxi or minicab firms and counselling services. And it will distribute 1,000 personal safety alarms for a small donation. "We felt people who then took one would use it rather than leave it at home," Ms Nicholson said.

The campaign also includes beer mats with the message "Think When You Drink". The booklet sets out safe drinking limits, warning students that alcohol will make them less alert. They should guard against drinks being spiked by never leaving them unattended or accepting drinks from strangers.

The potential hazards of alcohol are also raised in terms of safety in the home: if students have been drinking, they should not leave frying pans unattended or smoke in bed, the booklet warns.

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