Follow some of our personal safety tips to help keep yourself safer:
* You are safest in bright, well lit and busy areas.
* Never take short cuts at night. Stick to well-lit main routes.
* Get your cash out of the cash point during daylight hours if you are going out in the evening.
* Try to look and act confident – look like you know where you are going and walk tall.
* Spread your valuables around your body, e.g. keep your phone in your bag, your house keys in your trouser pocket and your money in your jacket.
* If someone tries to take something from you, it may just be better to let them take it rather than to get into a confrontation and risk injury.
* You can use reasonable force in self-defence. You are allowed to protect yourself with something you are carrying anyway, e.g. keys or a can of deodorant, pen, umbrella, your hand bag, any common objects, but you can’t carry a weapon.
* Shout “fire!” rather than “help!” – it can get more results.
* If you use a wheelchair, keep your things beside you rather than at the back of the chair.
* Be conspicuous about the valuables you are carrying. Talking on your mobile phone, carrying a laptop, or showing your friend your new gold ring all show thieves that you are worth robbing.
* Do not listen to a personal stereo when out walking or jogging – you need to stay alert to your surroundings.
* In case of emergency, keep a £5 note behind the back cover of your mobile phone.
* Put ICE (In Case of Emergency) phone numbers in your mobile phone. This way, if you are hurt or in trouble and someone arrives to help you, they will be able to find an emergency contact number in your phone.
* Stay with friends whenever possible and don’t walk home alone.
* Look after friends if they’ve had too much to drink and make sure they get home safely.
* If you are alone, set your mobile phone to vibrate as not to draw attention to yourself.
* Don’t walk and text. You’re likely to be distracted and you are giving a potential thief a chance to see what type of phone you have.
* If taking a lift or taxi, text the registration number to someone you trust.
* Mark valuable personal items with your house number and post code in UV pen.
* 10% of all motorway accidents involve a collision with a vehicle on the hard shoulder. You may want to stand on the grass verge while you are waiting for breakdown rescue, but only if you feel safe outside your vehicle.
*Don’t leave vehicle documents in your car. Registration documents, MOT and insurance certificates will help a thief to sell your vehicle.
* Always keep the phone number of a trusted taxi firm with you.
* When arriving home by car or taxi ask the driver to wait until you are inside your home.
* Walk facing the traffic to avoid ‘kerb crawlers’ .
* If you think you are being followed – Cross over the road. If you are followed, cross back again. If you are still concerned, go to the nearest public place, a shop, pub or house with lights on and call the police on 999. Don’t use enclosed pay-phones, in which you could become trapped!