Oxford is a fairly safe city, but it is always important to be prepared and cautious when travelling at night or whilst out socialising. The sections below contain useful information on how to keep safe: 

Travelling around Oxford

Cycling safety

General safety tips

Directions to external sites

Travelling around Oxford

If dark or late at night…

  • Avoid getting off the bus one or two stops early just to save money, make sure you plan ahead for your journey home
  • Always carry enough change and/or a telephone card to make a call or to get a taxi (even if you have a mobile)
  • Use a taxi if you are unable to get collected by the OUSU or Brookes Safety Buses (the JCR has a taxi fund for true emergency taxi use)
  • Stay safe and alert, don’t listen to iPods or personal stereos or have long conversations on mobile phones

Arriving home…

  • Make sure no strangers follow you when you walk through the main entrance to the flats or college
  • Call the Assistant Warden 11 pm - 7 am (otherwise the Lodge/the Police) if you suspect there is a stranger on the premises at Barts/Stevens/121 Woodstock Road

Walking at night…

  • Avoid taking shortcuts for example through badly lit places such as parks or alleyways
  • Walk on the pavement, facing oncoming traffic, so that you are visible
  • Be alert and brief when using a mobile phone, and try to conceal it when not in use
  • Carry an attack alarm (available free from the JCR & MCR Welfare reps)
  • If you think you are being followed, cross the street (more than once if necessary), and if you are still unhappy move as quickly as possible to a public area, such as a restaurant, bar or late opening store, and telephone for help. It is not necessarily the best idea to use the first telephone that you see if it is in an isolated spot
  • Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards or strap it over your shoulder. Use a bag that has a zip or properly closes. Keep the bag closed when walking home

Using transport at night…

  • If travelling by bus, try not to wait alone at bus stops. At night sit downstairs on the bus where the driver can see you. Arrange for others to meet you if you are returning particularly late or have a long walk home
  • Consider using an “Oxford Key Card” (available from Debenhams’s travel desk) which is a pre-paid bus top-up card and means that you don’t have to use cash
  • Keep the number of a taxi company that you know handy - never use an unlicensed company
  • Confirm the driver’s details when they arrive - is it the taxi you ordered?
  • Make sure the taxi driver has a photo ID and the vehicle has a licence displayed on the inside and outside of the vehicle with Oxford City Crest on
  • Always sit in the back of the vehicle and carry your mobile phone in your hand so it is easily accessible

Cycling safety

See the OUSU Bike Safety & Security web page for useful guidance.

  • Use a taxi if you can’t walk or cycle home safely (the JCR has a taxi fund for true emergency taxi use and will reimburse you if you keep your taxi receipt)
  • Keep the number of a taxi company that you know handy (in your mobile contacts or download one of the mobile apps for a local taxi firm) - never use an unlicensed company

General safety tips

  • When using a public phone, stand facing outwards, so that you can see what’s going on around you
  • Be aware of others around you at cash point machines and try not to use them at night or in poorly lit areas
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you when you are out 

Useful contacts

  • The Police - in an emergency call 999
  • The John Radcliffe (JR) is the local 24-hour Accident and Emergency hospital located in Headington, buses 10, 13, X13, 14, 14A, 17A, & 17C go directly from various Oxford locations to the hospital; buses 8, 9, 280, 400, and U1 stop in Headington close to the Osler Road entrance to the JR.
  • University Counselling Service (2)70300
  • Nightline 8 pm to 8 am, 0th to 9th week (2)70270; website
  • Rape Crisis Centre 726295
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centre: website
  • The Samaritans 08457 909090 or 722122

Directions to external sites from Jesus College

121 Woodstock Road and Stevens’ Close

  • Bus 6 from stop C4 on Magdalen Street
  • Bus 300 (Park & Ride bus) from stop C3 on Magdalen Street
  • On foot or bicycle: at the top of St Giles’, take the left hand fork into Woodstock Road. 121 is between Leckford Road and Farndon Road, Stevens Close is on the corner of Farndon Road 

Both 121 and Stevens have electronic key readers, operated by either the standard College card or fob on the walls next to the pedestrian gates at both blocks. 

Herbert Close (nearest stop Cumberland Avenue)

  • Bus 1 and 5 towards Cowley, from St Aldates or outside the Queen’s College in the High Street
  • Bus U5 from stops outside the Queen’s College
  • On foot or bicycle: travel along the High Street to Magdalen Bridge, take the second exit on the left from the Plain roundabout. Continue along Cowley Road until Cumberland Avenue on the left

Herbert Close is at the top of Cumberland Avenue - turn left at the T-junction and the gate to Herbert Close is immediately on the right. There is an electronic key reader, operated by either the standard College card or fob, on the wall to the left of the pedestrian gate.