When arriving home
- Have your house keys ready before you get to the door.
- At night make sure your entrance is well lit so that others can see you if you need help.
- Close any communal doors behind you, especially if you see a stranger approching.
- Check all visitors and delivery people if you are not expecting them.
- If you let someone into your home and you become uncomfortable, even if you know them, make excuses. Leave and go to a neighbour's house or ask a friend to come back with you.
- If you get an abusive or threatening telephone call, don't respond to the caller. Use the 1471 facility when the call ends and make a note of the caller's number.
When out and about
We all have to go out and about whether to work, school, to shop, or to socialise.
This part of our everyday life should not be curtailed, but by following some simple steps we can all move about in safety and with confidence.
- Trust your instincts. If that little voice inside you says something is not quite right don't ignore it. Always walk confidently and with purpose.
- Always try to look as if you know where you are going.
Carrying a bag or briefcase
- Check it is closed with the opening facing towards your body, walk facing oncoming traffic and with confidence.
- Don't keep your keys in the bag/briefcase. If your bag is snatched, you won't lose the keys as well.
- Remember, if your bag is snatched, don't confront the thief.
- Your safety is more important than property
Put your wallet, purse or valuables out of sight
- Use an inside buttoned pocket. Consider using a body belt.
- If you are wearing jewellery items, take simple steps to cover them up. For example use collar and cuffs to hide them or don’t put earrings on until you arrive at your function.
- Keep some money separate from your handbag. That way, if your bag does get stolen, you can get still get home.
Avoid danger spots
- Dark alleys, waste ground, alleyways, short cuts.
- Keep to well-lit streets if possible.
- Be aware of what is happening around you and remember if you are wearing a personal stereo you won't be able to hear what is going on.
- If you see something you are not happy with or you think you are being followed cross the road. If you feel threatened don't be afraid to ask for help from passers by, or go into a place where there are other people (pubs, restaurants, etc).
- If there are no such places about, knock on a house with a light on and ask for help. But don't go inside, just in case.
- If you are threatened make as much noise as is possible,
- Remember you can use reasonable force to defend yourself so don’t be afraid to fight back.
- It may be alright to kick out, punch or bite to effect your escape, but please bear in mind you might have to justify what you have done later.
Joggers and cyclists
- If you go out regularly to exercise, vary your times and route. Stick to well-lit roads and pavements.
- On commons and parklands, keep to main paths and open spaces and where you can see and be seen. Avoid wooded areas.
- Consider wearing an item of clothing that is florescent or has florescent strips – it will ensure that you can be seen
Take care at cash points. Think about when you need to withdraw cash - 2pm in the afternoon when there are other people are about is better than 2am in the morning when the street is quiet.
- Check the machine has not been tampered with, check the slot for a plastic sleeve which thieves insert to retain your card.
- These have tiny protrusions at either end to allow the thief to remove it. These can be felt by running your finger along the slot. If you find one take it out inform the Police and the bank as soon as possible.
- Take out only what you need don't walk around with bundles of cash in your pockets.
- If you see somebody suspicious hanging around the cashpoint walk away and go back later.
- Don't keep your pin number with your cashcard. If you have trouble remembering it incorporate it into a telephone number so it is not as obvious
- Don't ask people to withdraw cash on your behalf and never give your cashcard/pin number or details of your bank account to anyone.
Using a mobile phone
The first advice should be to register your phone with your network provider and keep a note of the IMEI number. This is the phones serial number and can be accessed by dialling *#06#.
· Be discreet when using your mobile phone and be aware of what is happening around you.
· Don't use it in crowded situations where it can be easily snatched from you.
· Don't text while you walk.
· Don' t leave it unattended.
· Use the Pin Code facility.
· Don't wear it on your belt where it can be snatched.
· Remember Mobile Phones are expensive items and very attractive to a thief.
If the worst should happen and it gets stolen then report the theft to the police and get the handset barred by phoning your network provider you will need your IMEI number to do this. In this way the handset is then useless to a thief.
On a night out
- Plan your night out and let someone know where you’ll be and when you’ll be home.
- Keep your drink with you at all times.
- Take your drink straight from the bar staff.
- Never accept a drink from someone you have just met or don’t totally trust.
- Remember, binge drinking makes you vulnerable to attack.
In a car
- Keep doors locked at all times.
- Keep bags, phones, and valuables out of sight.
- Park in a well lit area and look for police approved ‘Safer’ or ‘Secured Car Park’ signs.
- Do not give lifts to, or accepts lifts from people you do not know.
On public transport
Buses and trains
- Know where you are going and the stop you need.
- Check departure times, especially last buses and trains
- Have your ticket or change handy. This ensures your wallet or purse stays out of sight
- Try to stay away from isolated bus stops, especially after dark
- On an empty or late-night bus, sit near the driver or conductor
- On a train, sit in a compartment where there are several people
- If you feel uneasy, move to another seat or carriage or sit near to the emergency alarm
- Don't be afraid to use an emergency alarm - check where it is on boarding
We live in a world where child safety is more of an issue than it ever was but in reality the risk to your children is still extremely low.
Making them aware of the dangers without frightening them will reduce the risk even further and the following advice will help you do just that.
Here are advices for parents and children on some major issues
What is a stranger?
- Some one your child does not know very well
- A stranger can be male, female, old, young
- A stranger may even know your or your child's name
- It doesn't matter. If your child doesn't know them that person is a stranger.
Your child must not
- Talk to or go with a stranger no matter how tempting even if the person tells your child that you have given your permission. If they are approached tell them to shout "NO" as loud as they can and go back into the house or school.
Your child must
- Tell you or the person looking after them that they have been approached.
- Tell you or the person looking after them before they go anywhere, shops with friends, or the park to play.
- Make sure your child understands what a stranger is and what they must do.
- Tell them no matter what story they are told the likelihood it is untrue and they must not believe them.
- Make sure your child knows his/her name and address and if possible, home telephone number.
- Tell them what to do if they got lost or separated from you.
- Find a Police Officer, although they will be strangers they can be trusted to help so you must encourage your child not to be frightened by them.
- If your child cannot find either of these people, the Security Guard in a shop or the person behind the counter will also be able to help.
This section provides some practical suggestions for improving the security of your vehicle.
Making these security improvements can deter a car thief and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of car crime again in the future.
· An alarm can deter a car thief, so have an alarm fitted and always use it.
· Consider buying a steering wheel lock, and use it every time you leave your car.
· Wheels (including spare wheels under the vehicle) can be a target for thieves. Use locking wheel nuts or other specialised locks to prevent this.
· If you have an expensive car, or if it has a high sentimental value, consider buying an in-car tracking device.
- At home, don´t leave your keys near windows or doors where they can be seen or reached by thieves.
- Always take the key out of the ignition and lock the car whenever you leave it e.g. when popping into the newsagents or filling up with petrol (a lockable fuel cap may help you to remember).
- On cold mornings, don´t leave your car unattended with the engine running while it warms up.
- Keep doors locked at all times.
- Do not leave your bag or other items on the passenger seat next to you. Put it in the front or rear passengers footwell not under the driver´s seat.
- If you have window open, don't wind it down too far. Someone could reach in whilst you are stationary.
- If you have a garage use it. If you park on a driveway, close and lock any gates.
- Always think about where you are going to park. Park in well lit areas.
When you leave your car
- Always lock and secure your vehicle, check windows and sunroof are closed.
- Never leave anything on display in your vehicle.
- Mobile phones, coats, bags and CDs are all a potential target for thieves. Take all valuables with you.
- Failing that, lock them in the boot taking care that nobody is watching you.