It’s important to take personal safety seriously and a few simple precautions can help lower your chances of becoming a victim of crime.
When out and about you should:
- stick to busy, well-lit areas, look self-confident and walk with purpose
- consider places of safety along your route, such as a friend’s house or shops, where you could seek help if necessary
- keep your purse, wallet, money and valuables out of sight
- keep bags closed, zipped and buckled
- avoid walking and talking on your mobile phone
- wear your bag across your chest, so that it can’t be pulled from your shoulder
- never leave bags unattended
- carry only the amount of money that you need
If someone tries to take something from you, let them have it. Don’t put yourself at risk of being hurt by trying to hold on to it. Throw the item on the ground in front of you, run away and shout loudly to draw attention to what is happening.
If you think you’re being followed, cross over the road to see if they follow you. If you’re still worried, don’t wait around. Go into a pub, shop or other busy public place. Call a friend to meet you there and report it to the police.
Out at night
When out at night, always be alert and:
- plan how you are going to get home
- never walk home on your own, walk with friends or call a taxi
- stay with your friends, you are more likely to be a target on your own
- if you must walk alone, avoid shortcuts and stick to busy areas
- keep your mobile phone charged
- have your house keys ready before you reach the door
- try not to drink too much
- be wary of accepting drinks from strangers
- never leave your drink unattended
- make sure someone knows where you are and when to expect you back
When using public transport:
- plan your journey in advance, make sure you know your route and stop
- check the times of the last trains and buses
- wait for your train or bus in a well-lit place, near other people
- sit in a busy section, or sit close to the driver if you feel concerned
- have your ticket, pass or change ready, so your purse or wallet is out of sight
- report any unattended bags or suspicious activity immediately
- arrange for friends to meet you there if you’re going to an unfamiliar place
Genuine taxis are licensed by the local authority and should display a plate showing their licence number.
Use a taxi company you know, or one recommended by family or friends and keep this number with you at all times. If possible, book a taxi in advance to take you home. If you’re unable to call a taxi, always go to a taxi rank or office. Don’t flag a taxi down from the street.
When getting in a taxi:
- make sure the driver knows your name and destination, to be sure it’s the correct taxi
- always sit behind the driver in the back seat
- have your money and keys ready before you leave the car
- if you feel uneasy ask the driver to stop in a busy, well-lit place and get out of the car
- travel with a friend if possible
Your mobile phone contains a lot of valuable data, so it’s important to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
To make sure your phone is protected:
- keep your phone out of sight when in public places
- make use of your phone's security features, such as passcode locks
- only give your number to family and friends that you trust
- dial *#06# for your phone’s IMEI number, write this down and keep it in a safe place
- consider installing a GPS tracker app