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Personal
safety

Person putting hand in a handbag

The chances of you or a member of your family becoming a victim of personal crime are very low. But everyone should take some simple precautions as part of everyday life.

Protect your personal possessions

  • Don't leave your bag unattended (for instance in a shopping trolley, or on a cafe table while getting food) even for a moment - thieves can be very quick.
  • Watch out for people approaching you when sat at a table (at a coffee shop for instance). A common technique is to ask for directions and use the cover of a map or newspaper to take your valuables from the table.
  • Keep your bag zipped up, so thieves can't see what is in there.
  • Consider attaching bells to your purse or phone (so it make a noise when it is removed) or attaching them to your bag with a strap (so they are harder to remove).
  • Wear your bag across your chest so that it can't be pulled from your shoulder.

On foot

  • Look confident and act confidently
  • Cover up jewellery, mobile phones, personal music players and keys
  • Avoid walking home alone after an evening out. Walk with friends or take a taxi (from a reputable firm)
  • Never hitchhike
  • Consider carrying a personal attack alarm
  • If you have to walk, avoid short cuts in lonely areas. Keep to well-lit, busy streets
  • Always walk facing oncoming traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you
  • If you regularly go walking or jogging, vary your route
  • Avoid using a personal music player or mobile phone while walking or jogging. They can distract you from your surroundings
  • When approaching your car or home, have your keys ready so you can enter without delay
  • If you think you’re being followed, walk to the busiest place you can find or knock on a door. Then call the police
  • If you are attacked, shout for help as loudly as you can or shout for someone to contact the police. Use your personal attack alarm. Try to get to a safe place and call the police
  • If someone attempts to take something from you, consider letting them have it rather than risk being hurt
  • Consider taking self defence classes.

In your car

  • Make sure your car is roadworthy and has enough fuel for your journey
  • Keep a torch in your car
  • Always lock the car while you are inside it
  • Don’t leave your bag, wallet or mobile phone on the passenger seat
  • Keep valuables out of sight
  • Park in well-lit, busy areas and consider the safest route back to where you have parked
  • If possible, park in police approved car parks displaying the ‘ParkMark’ logo. Visit www.parkmark.co.uk for further information
  • Check the interior of your car before getting in – particularly the back seat
  • If you are being followed do not stop and get out of the car. Lock the doors and drive to a busy place. Then stop the car, sound the horn to attract attention and use your mobile phone to call for help
  • Never give a lift to a stranger.

Travelling by taxi

  • Avoid taxi drivers touting for business
  • Keep the number of a reputable taxi firm with you
  • Only pre-book a taxi from a reputable firm. When it arrives, check that it is from the correct company. If not, don’t get in
  • Sit behind the driver and stay aware
  • If you feel uneasy, ask to be let out in a busy, well-lit area
  • If in doubt, don’t get in.

On buses and trains

  • Always plan your journey and try not to travel alone
  • While waiting for a bus or train, stand in a well-lit place near other people
  • Sit near the driver or other people. Avoid empty carriages or empty top decks
  • Check where the emergency chain is located
  • If you are being pestered, tell the guard or driver
  • Keep your fare money or ticket at hand so you can avoid getting your purse or wallet out in public
  • On busy trains and buses keep your belongings close by.

In pubs and clubs

  • When out with friends, keep an eye on each other
  • Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • If your drink looks or tastes odd, don’t drink it. If you feel unusually ill, seek help from a friend or a member of staff.

For more information, download our leaflet at the bottom of this page.

Personal securityLink to an external website
Download our leaflet for valuable advice on personal security
Travelling safely - Easy readLink to an external website
Download this easy read leaflet for advice on how to stay safe when you are travelling
Safety when out and about - Easy readLink to an external website
Download this easy read leaflet for advice on how to stay safe when you are out and about
Keeping secrets - Easy readLink to an external website
Download this easy read leaflet for advice on how to tell a good secret from a bad secret
Mate crime - Easy readLink to an external website
Download this easy read leaflet for advice on how to stay safe from people who pretend to be your friend