Living in college

Last year, there were fewer than 100 crimes reported on University premises; less than 1% of all crime reported in the Cambridge City area. This makes Cambridge University one of the safest and most secure environments in the world for our students and staff. A number of university and college officers contribute to this.

The main role of the University Security Section is to monitor over 260 closed–circuit TV cameras and over 700 other alarm sensors throughout the University estate. These include fire, security and environmental alarms. They provide speedy response to alarms and incidents by means of four shifts each of six patrollers. The Security Section also advises faculties, departments and central offices on the provision of proportionate, effective and deterrent protection measures, and on planning appropriate responses to emergencies. They liaise with other University bodies such as the Proctors, the Health and Safety Division and the Fire Safety Manager; with college staff such as Head Porters and Bursars; and with police, fire, ambulance and other public services.

Such crime as there is in the University mostly involves theft of personal possessions, such as laptops and credit cards, left in unlocked rooms. So our main message is that you should take care of your personal possessions and always lock your door when you leave your room, even if you’re just going to the toilet.

Who to contact

If you are the victim of a crime or witness a crime you should always call the police. If the crime is in College you should also contact the Porters immediately on 01223 3(38000) or alternatively go straight to the Porters’ Lodge if it is open. Phones within College usually require you to dial 9 before the phone number you are trying to call.

If the crime is committed on other University premises, or you observe any suspicious activity please report it to the Security Control Centre on 01223 3(31818).


Laptops are a prime target for burglars; however you can protect yours by taking a few simple steps:

  • Password protect the computer and any important or personal documents.
  • Use a marker to security code your laptop.
  • Make a note of the model and serial number as if your laptop is stolen you’ll need this information when reporting it to the police.
  • Make back–ups of any large or important documents, such as course work, just in case.


Bicycles are amongst one of, if not the most common thefts in Cambridge. There are a few simple steps you should take to minimise the risk of yours being stolen:

  • Buy a lock for your bicycle–D locks are the most secure.
  • Register your bicycle with the Porters.
  • Leave your bicycle in the most secure location possible, for example in Botolph court or in the bike area next to Beldam.
  • Register your bike with the Police.