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Safety advice

Taking sensible precautions such as not walking alone in unlit areas, using taxis and planning your journey home all help your personal safety.

  • Keep bus / taxi money separate to the money you spend on a night out, so you can get home safely
  • Walk with friends
  • Text a friend to say you have arrived home and let someone know you are going out, and roughly what time you might be back

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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Thieves are always on the lookout for easy targets so try to make it as difficult for them as possible. Keep bags closed and wallets, money and valuables out of sight. Laptops are particularly tempting for thieves – carry them in an anonymous bag, rather than a laptop bag, and try not to take them out in public.
  • MP3 players are the latest in mobile music technology, but think carefully about using them in public. Displaying headphones could show would be robbers that you have things worth taking - don't flash your valuables about - keep them hidden. Wearing headphones can also prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic or someone approaching from behind.

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.
  • 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 public transport

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

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.

Identity

If you move house, get your mail re-directed. Your post can be a valuable source of information about your private details. Be careful about who you give your personal details to and destroy letters from your bank containing pin numbers.
  • dispose of personal documents with care: rip them up or shred them
  • double-check your ID has not been stolen by checking your credit reference with Experian Equifax and Call Credit
 

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Advice

Our Force Control Rooms take thousands of calls every year, and are often asked very similar questions. In this section you will find some of those that are frequently asked

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