Keeping Leeds safe

The University of Leeds has one of the first Security Services Dog Teams in the HE sector

Being in the heart of the city centre, the University of Leeds campus is a welcoming home to many students, staff and visitors. The single-site campus is one of the largest in the UK and is just a short walk from the centre of Leeds. Everything is in one place and it’s really easy to get around, so ensuring the campus provides a safe and secure environment, where everyone has a positive experience, is of great importance at Leeds.

Maintaining a safe and secure campus environment is the responsibility of the University’s Security Service, led by Malcolm Dawson, which aims to ensure that the University is a safe and secure environment for all students, staff and visitors, both on and off campus. Without doubt, the Security Service is linked across many different areas and departments across the entire Leeds community and strives to continue to provide a first class customer service. The service works in close partnership with West Yorkshire Police, and has not only a dedicated University Police Higher Education Officer, on campus, based in the Security Office, but a Police Station as well. This unique and close working relationship ensures collaboration from all sides and effectively manages crime on campus and within the vicinity.

Four of our security staff have recently been awarded Police Commendations, one for Bravery and three for Excellent Security work. This is testament to the dedication and hard work of the team that we have here in Leeds – Malcolm Dawson, Security Services Manager

Malcolm Dawson, Security Services Manager said: The team is made up of four teams of full time University Security Staff, with a mix of agency staff, to assist the security operation, as well as a dedicated Crime Prevention Adviser, Car Park and administrative staff, and a Police Higher Education Liaison Officer. Security staff patrol the whole 98 acre campus site on foot and mobile patrol, and also all the off-campus Halls of Residences. We spend most of the 12 hours on shift patrolling around campus, giving a reassuring presence to staff and students, and to deter and prevent any crime.

‘Four of our security staff have recently been awarded Police Commendations, one for Bravery and three for Excellent Security work. This is testament to the dedication and hard work of the team that we have here in Leeds.”

Security Services Dog Teams

Professionalising the service offered to all campus visitors at Leeds includes a unique partnership between the University and West Yorkshire Police, making Leeds one of the first University’s to have a dedicated Security Services Dog Team, who receive expert training to the very highest of police standards.

The training involves all University Dog handlers attending regular training sessions at West Yorkshire Police training base in Wakefield, from a Police Dog Training Instructor. The dogs and their handlers refresh on existing exercises and training techniques, which are in line with the training that Police dogs receive. 

Campaigning to keep the campus safe and secure

Actively engaging with students and staff to keep them safe and educating them about ways in which they can do this has proven a big success at Leeds. Throughout the year the team actively advises students and staff on safety and security measures through a variety of safety campaigns and face to face meetings.

Malcom Dawson said: “Preventing crime and equipping our students and staff with the tools and tips to stay safe and secure goes hand in hand with actively patrolling and keeping campus safe. We do this in a number of ways, in particular our dedicated Crime Prevention Adviser delivers on average 30 talks to nearly 3,500 students on safety and security. Regular advice workshops are also delivered by the team to students along with our ‘stay safe and stay secure’ booklet which provides them with helpful tips and hints on staying safe during their time at Leeds.’

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