New Students

Staying safe in Edinburgh

As you settle into university life, it is important to keep an awareness and recognise how to keep safe, secure and where to go for further information, should you require it.

Your safety on campus and online is important to us.  

Edinburgh is a safe city with a low crime rate, but it is still important that you pay attention to your personal safety. You should be aware of the laws in the UK and Scotland while you are living here. 

Emergency services - call 999

If you need to call the emergency services, including police, fire brigade, and ambulance, call 999.

Emergency services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Non-emergency services

Police - call 101, anywhere in Scotland

Fire - in Edinburgh, call 0131 228 2401

NHS 24 - call 111, anywhere in Scotland

How to stay safe

Watch our short 'How to...' videos on safety and security 

These short videos will provide advice on how to avoid frauds and scams, how to protect your valuables and your bicycle if you have one.

Video: Safety & Security Playlist - 'How to...' Sessions 2023
Part of the 'How to...' online sessions 2023, this playlist includes a range of videos to help new students stay safe and secure at the University of Edinburgh.


Who to contact if you ever need assistance: 

In case of an emergency, if you have lost your wallet or find yourself stranded, Student Association has partnered up with Central Taxis to provide you with the option of paying back your fare at a later date meaning there’s no need to worry, even if you’ve got no cash or cards on you

Emergency Taxi Scheme

The University Security team is always available on campus for advice or assistance and are easily recognisable by their red jackets.

University Security Section website

General Laws

Some laws in the UK and Scotland are important to remember:

  • The legal age to drink alcohol is 18
  • The legal age to buy cigarettes and tobacco is 18
  • You cannot smoke in public places indoors, including bars, offices and any University building
  • You must not carry illegal drugs or substances with you, or supply illegal substances to others
  • It is illegal to carry any sort of weapon, including knives and pepper spray

Driving in the UK

If you plan to drive in the UK you should know the rules of the road. If you do not obey the rules you can face fines and prosecution.

  • You must hold a full valid driving licence to drive in the UK
  • You must be insured to drive in the UK
  • Your car must have valid road tax
  • In the UK, cars drive on the left-hand side and overtake on the right
  • You must not drive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • You must adhere strictly to speed limits (normally 20 miles per hour in cities)
  • You must not use your mobile phone when driving

Related Links

Staying safe in the UK (British Council)

University of Edinburgh - Security Section

The Advice Place - Safety and Crime

Driving in the UK - DVLA