Staying safe in NSW

New South Wales is generally a safe place with low levels of crime, but it is still important to take care and look after yourself. This section explains how to contact emergency services and gives you tips on staying safe.

In an emergency dial 000 to contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance.

The call is free of charge from any phone or mobile.

NSW Police

The NSW Police Force is Australia's oldest and largest police organisation. NSW Police provides community based policing from more than 500 police stations to a wide range of ethnic communities speaking more than 30 languages.

Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate is the NSW Police Force Corporate Spokesperson for the safety of International Students.

Visit Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate's Facebook page for international students here

Reporting a crime

If you need to report a crime that is not an emergency, dial 131 444 for the Police Assistance Line, or ask someone in authority at your school, college or university to contact the local police station for you. You can also report a crime in person at your nearest police station.

Safety videos for international students

NSW Police in partnership with the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) completed a Study NSW co-funded Partner Project to create safety videos for international students studying in NSW. The videos are available in 9 languages: English, Thai, Japanese, Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and Vietnamese.

Crime Stoppers NSW

CrimestoppersTo provide crime information anonymously you can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

City of Sydney Safety Tips

City of Sydney Council worked with the NSW Police Service to put together personal safety tips in a variety of community languages to help you avoid crime and remain safe during your stay in Sydney and NSW.

Emergency+ App

Download Emergency+ a free app developed by Australia's emergency services and their Government and industry partners. The app helps you to call the right number at the right time anywhere in Australia in case of an emergency. Save the app that could save your life.

Ten tips for staying safe


Plan your travel

If you are planning a night out, be sure to check the times of the last train, bus or ferry, or book a taxi. Let someone know where you are going and what time you plan to return home.


ATM safety

Be aware of others around you when using ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines). Try not to use them at night or in poorly lit areas, and always keep your PIN hidden.


Keep bags safe

Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. If someone grabs your bag, let it go – your safety is more important. Report theft to the police.


Travelling at night

It is always best to travel with friends, but if you do need to travel alone, let people know where you are going and sit close to the driver or other passengers.


Carry a taxi number

Always take a taxi phone number and some money, just in case your plans change unexpectedly.


Take a licensed taxi

If you are not sure how to find a licensed taxi, ask at your school, college or university. Sit in the back of the taxi, directly behind the driver if possible.


Conceal valuables

Keep items such as your mobile phone and wallet out of sight.


Avoid confrontation

If you are being threatened or hassled, it is safer to walk away.


Walking alone

Try to avoid walking alone at night, but if you must:

  • Stick to well-lit, busy streets where you feel safe, and walk confidently
  • Avoid listening to headphones or talking on your mobile so you can stay fully focused on your surroundings.
  • Avoid dark, isolated areas and do not risk taking an unfamiliar shortcut.

Remember, cars drive on the left in Australia, and take extra care when crossing the roads.


Drinking and drugs

Never accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended, to avoid the risk of your drink being 'spiked' with drugs or alcohol. If you are with someone who has had so much to drink as to be unwell or pass out, have had their drink spiked or taken drugs, get them to the nearest hospital or call 000 immediately.