Challenging Strangers

‌Have you ever been walking to your job and you see an unfamiliar person looking around. Or perhaps you have entered your building and a stranger tags along behind you? Have these situations ever made you curious – and if so what would you do about it?

In many cases the ‘stranger’ may be nothing more than a new employee, or someone from another site looking for a colleague.  They may also be contractors or customers who are there for a meeting.  They could even just be lost.

Sadly, they could also be intent on causing the University harm.

For a number of reasons, a University of Bristol site will be of interest to certain people.  From job seekers to journalists or those wishing to inflict damage on the University’s reputation or to commit crime, their reasons can be varied – but they have to be dealt with promptly and correctly.

So, how can you find out if a stranger is on the premises for legitimate reasons, or is there by mistake, or has more sinister intentions?

You need to ask them questions.

It may not of course be easy to stop and question a stranger.  Some may take it as confrontational – which you must always try to avoid.  But it is vital to ensure we all challenge people we do not recognise as being an employee or legitimate visitor. Remember, all University of Bristol staff and students should be wearing or carrying a U Card.

So, here are some simple tips to challenging strangers on University premises:-

NEVER APPROACH A STRANGER IF IT SEEMS UNSAFE OR IF YOU SUSPECT WEAPONS ARE PRESENT. ALWAYS INFORM YOUR MANAGER AND SECURITY SERVICES AND REPORT YOUR SUSPICIONS.

By working together, we can ensure the safety and security of colleagues, students and visitors to our University.

Please see the attached poster relating to Challenge Strangers (PDF, 1,198kB) this can be printed off and used in your place of work.