Does commuting in the dark creep you out? Discover safe places, people and apps for confident commutes

University of Leeds
3 min readOct 26, 2023

From your daily trips to campus and exploring the city, to getting home after a night out — whenever you’re commuting, your safety matters. Learn good habits and discover safe places and people to give you the confidence to travel safely.

5 good habits when you’re out and about

  • Always remember to take your fully charged phone out with you, as well as some money (cash or card) in case of emergency.
  • Where possible, plan your route beforehand so you’re familiar with where you’re going and how to get back home.
  • If you’re walking, try to stick to well-lit, public areas where you can be seen at night.
  • In the dark, wear bright or reflective clothing so that drivers and cyclists can see you.
  • Let people know where you are or where you’re going.
Outside of LUU at night

Apps and resources to help keep you safe

WalkSafe app

WalkSafe is a free personal safety app that offers a range of features to help you stay safe while commuting around the city. Download WalkSafe from Apple’s app store and the Google Play store.

The app includes:

  • WalkSafe — Share your route with selected friends so they can see where you are and your estimated time of arrival.
  • HomeSafe — This feature automatically alerts your loved ones if you fail to arrive at your destination on time.
  • SOS — Hold down the SOS button to alert your friends immediately if you’re in danger.
  • Reporting — Issues or concerns can be raised and reported anonymously using the reporting tools.
  • Online map — Use the map to identify repeated crime hotspots as well as safe spaces such as police stations and ‘Ask for Angela’ venues.

SafeZone app

On campus and need help? SafeZone is a safety app that is linked to the University’s security service, who are on call to help you 24/7. The app enables you to contact security at the press of a button. Download SafeZone from Apple’s app store or the Google Play store.

A screenshot of the three buttons on the SafeZone app: first aid, non-urgent and emergency.

Get home safe with Amber Cars

Walking home might seem like the easiest option, but it can pose a risk to your safety, especially if you’re alone at night.

The student safety scheme, set up by Leeds University Union (LUU) and Amber Cars (a local taxi firm), means that if you find yourself stuck without a way home, you can contact Amber Cars and they will take you home even if you don’t have any money.

Who’s around to help you

The University’s security service

As well as downloading the SafeZone app, you can also visit the security service in-person or contact them by phone, email or WhatsApp video call.

The Parkinson building lit up at night time

Police

In an emergency, always contact the police by dialing 999.

If you need to report something that doesn’t require an emergency response, you can:

  • Contact the British Transport Police if you’re travelling by train (text 61016 or call on 0800 40 50 40), or
  • Contact the police by dialing 101 if you’re walking or travelling on the roads.

Harassment and misconduct support

You are not alone. If you’ve experienced any kind of violence, abuse, bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct or discrimination on your commutes, or at any point, the Harassment and Misconduct team are here to help.

If it happens to you or someone you know, the specialist team can help however you feel most comfortable, whether you want to get support, report something anonymously, or just chat to someone.

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