Spotlight on security
We recently met with the Deputy Head of Security Services, Steve Juliff, to ask what the security team does and how they continue to keep everyone safe on campus.
What do the Security Services do on campus?
Within our team there are 36 uniformed officers. We have a 24/7 control room and a 24/7 reception – that’s every weekday, every weekend, every public holiday, every closure day. So 365 days a year – regardless of whether it’s a public holiday or not – we’re here.
Our job is to make sure that the campus is safe and secure for everybody who lives, works, studies, and plays here. The biggest misconception is that we’re here to enforce discipline. That is a part of it, but our role is to make sure the place is safe, and if that means taking disciplinary action against one or two people for the benefit of everybody else, then that’s what we have to do. But we do that in partnership with other areas of the University, it’s not just us deciding it.
We make the campus safe and secure by putting out mobile, cycle and walking patrols and have routes where we have to lock down and open up buildings. We also manage the access control system, liaise with every department and school on campus, do surveys on secure locations, give crime prevention advice and respond to all emergency incidents.
All our teams are trained in First Aid at Work and if a student has a specific need we can ensure staff are prepared, for example, the team is trained in how to use epi-pens. We’re all trained to use de-fibrillators and there’s a member of staff who’s very thankful that we are – we saved his life not long ago!
We work closely with all emergency services and have contact with external support teams through the Centre for Wellbeing.
Where on campus is security based?
Our reception is at Senate House, Stag Hill. We also have a back office at Manor Park reception but we encourage all enquiries to come to Senate House.
We have two phone lines that people can use to get in touch:
Enquiries: +44(0)1483 682002 (Extension 2002)
Emergencies (which always take priority): +44(0)1483 683333 (Extension 3333)
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit the security pages on the website where you can anonymously report incidents. There’s an option within that to identify yourself if you would like feedback, but you don’t have to.
For students who live on Manor Park, do they have the same level of security in place compared to the Stag Hill site?
Yes, there are CCTV cameras throughout the residential areas and we have Wardens and patrols which go around 24/7, including Hazel Farm. The journey from main campus to Manor Park is covered by the patrol vehicles and the footpath from Stag Hill to Manor Park is lit and is covered by CCTV at the police station.
If a student is planning on staying out late, how can they keep themselves safe?
Well we advise people to go out in a group. We also recommend an app called Hollie Guard, which
allows you to set up designated people – if you’re worried you can set your route and if you haven’t
reached there by a certain time then Hollie Guard will automatically ring your notified person and let
them know where you are.
What do you recommend for new students who are joining the University and entering University accommodation?
There’s a lot of support in University accommodation such as Wardens who can help you settle in.
There are also Student Life Mentors – current students who are happy to share their experiences
and support with students who have just moved in.
One of the big things that I like people to do before they get here is to property mark all their ‘shiny
stuff’. We recommend a website called Immobilise, a free site which is used and recommended by
every police force in the country. And it’s not linked to or limited to the University, so if you start
recording all your property on Immobilise.com, when you leave here it goes with you.
The other thing to remember is that you’ll be living in accommodation with a lot of people you don’t
know, so don’t assume you can leave your doors and windows open and everything will be fine. One
of the things I say about Guildford, and the University in particular, is that it’s a low crime area, but
not a no crime area.
The University’s own lettings agency, University of Surrey Lettings (USL), manages properties in
Guildford which are rented out to students and they have the same status as accommodation on
campus. So if anything happens in a University-managed property, we respond to it the same way as
we would if it was a room on campus.
You mentioned working closely with the Centre for Wellbeing. Is that to ensure students feel they can reach out to any member of staff?
Our uniformed officers come across students who are struggling, particularly during the night and at
the weekend, so we work with the Wardens because they are in campus accommodation all the
time to provide this type of support. We ask students if we can pass their details onto the Centre for
Wellbeing. If their mental state is such that we either don’t think they can make that decision or if
we consider it necessary, we have a system with the Centre where we can provide them with all the
facts without the name of the student. They will then make a clinical assessment, so data protection
is complied with totally, but we get the support to the students.
How do you deal with issues relating to sexual harassment, discrimination and the University's zero tolerance policy?
The University has a zero tolerance policy towards harassment and discrimination of any member of our student or staff community. There are robust procedures in place and we are confident that these give swift and effective support to our students. When things do happen, I’m pleased that people have the confidence to come forward and speak to us, because we deal with it sensitively, supportively and effectively.
We have a large number of international students here, how do you support them?
We have the international department here which meets international students when they first arrive, but the security team are available during freshers’ weekend along with the Wardens. This is where we present what we do, give out our contact details and make ourselves available.
We’ve got open doors to everybody and I’d like to think we’re approachable. We are conscious that some people may not see a security officer as someone you can approach, so we try and break those barriers down. I encourage the team to actually go and sit with the students, have a coffee in places like Heart and Soul or even in their residential kitchens at night time. If they pop in and they’re not doing anything, there’s no trouble and they’re up, the officers will often just sit down and have a chat to try and break down those barriers.
What are your top 3 tips for staying safe at university?
- Drink responsibly.
- Look after your property – lock it or lose it. Use Immobilise to mark your property.
- Be aware of your surroundings – earphones and phones distract you from what’s going on around you.
I maintain the same guidelines for anyone joining the University though – use the support staff and please come to us if you are worried or concerned about yours or someone else’s safety.
For more information on the Security Services, visit the security pages.