Suspicious Behavior & Personal Safety

The university is considered to be a safe campus. However, since the campus and our buildings are open to the public, please lock all office doors and ground floor windows, and windows that open onto balconies, whenever you leave a room unattended. If you work in an open cubicle, keep valuables (purses, backpacks) in a locked drawer. Secure laptops with a security cable and place in a locked drawer when unattended for long periods of time.

If you are the victim of, are involved in, or witness suspicious behavior

In the unlikely event that you are the victim of, are involved in, or witness an individual behaving in an unusual or suspicious manner, or an individual is disorderly, intoxicated, committing vandalism, or other destructive act such as assault, robbery, theft, overt sexual behavior, etc., proceed as follows:

  • Do not take unnecessary chances
  • Keep a safe distance from the person. Watch him/her only if it is safe to do so.
  • Do not attempt to talk with or remove the individual yourself
  • Call police 9-911 (911 from non-campus or cell phones) with the following information:
    • Nature of incident
    • Location of incident
    • Description of person(s) involved
    • Location of person(s) involved
    • Your name, location, department and extension number
  • Get a good description of the suspicious person if personal safety allows. Note height, weight, sex, color, approximate age, clothing, method and direction of travel, and name if known. This provides vital information to investigating police officers.
  • Should a suspicious person attempt to leave the scene in a vehicle, bicycle, etc… note the make and model, license number (if possible), color, outstanding characteristics, etc.
  • Remain where you are until a police officer arrives
  • Do not interfere with:
    • Persons committing the crime/creating the disturbance
    • Law enforcement authorities on the scene

Personal safety tips

  • Be observant and aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers with you
  • If you feel uneasy about a stranger or unusual noise, call police at 9-911 from Stanford University phones (911 from non-campus or cell phones)
  • Secure valuables (purse, wallets, backpacks, briefcase, PDAs, laptop computers, and cell phone, etc.)
  • Lock your door and lock your filing cabinets, desk, etc., whenever you leave your office or workspace
  • Always keep the door to your room locked when you are working alone
  • Do not let people into a locked building or office unless you work with them or they have been properly identified. If the person gives you any problems, call the police.
  • If a suspicious person is seen roaming around, or suspicious calls are received, contact the police immediately. Do not investigate a suspicious person or noise outside by yourself.
  • If you need to work late, you may want to move your car closer to your building. Parking in an “A” lot is unrestricted after 4pm.
  • Remember to always lock your car. Do not leave valuables in plain sight in your car; remove all briefcases, computer cases, tote bags, gym bags, and all electronic accessories. Also, remove any mounting devices for the electronic equipment/ accessories from the vehicle or conceal them so they are not visible to anyone looking into the vehicle. A mounting device left in view may be an indicator to the thief that its associated electronic device may still be hidden in the vehicle (glove compartment).
  • Walk with a friend. School of Medicine faculty and staff – call Medical Center Security at (650) 723-7222 for an escort.
  • Walk in an alert and confident manner, actively pay attention to your surroundings, and do not wear earphones
  • Choose the best lit, most traveled paths when walking. (See the Stanford University Suggested Travel Routes Map .)
  • Take a self-defense course
  • If you have a bicycle on campus, please ensure you lock your bike and both tires, and remove lights, etc. U-Locks are the most secure type of bicycle lock. (Cable locks can be cut, but offer more security when used in tandem with a U-Lock.)