Staying safe on the streets sounds easy, but you may not be aware of all the dangers that surround you. Do you know if there’s a shoulder-surfer behind you, making a note of your pin number? Where’s your wallet/purse? Is it visible to eagle-eyed would-be thieves?
Unfortunately, there are people on the streets on which we walk who are not law-abiding citizens, but with a little bit of care you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime on our streets.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Seconds is all it takes to become the victim of opportunistic thieves.
- Take particular care around cash machines. If you feel that the person behind you is acting suspiciously, or if you feel uncomfortable in any way, remove yourself from the area.
- Hide your wallet/purse and mobile phone in your pocket or bag. Make sure they’re not visible.
- Don’t leave your bag or coat unattended. To a thief, a discarded personal belonging is a welcome sight.
- Only carry money that you need for that day or night. Don’t draw out more money than you need. A stolen bank card can be cancelled. Hard cash cannot.
- Immobilise your mobile and music device. Keep a note of your phone number, Sim card number and serial number (*#06# displays it) in a safe place. Register the serial numbers of your phone, ipod or musical device at www.immobilise.com and the police can instantly check the database to return them if they catch the thief.
- Tell someone where you're going, and when they can expect you back. Maybe send a text to let them know you got there.
- Be seen. Try not to use unlit streets and pathways, and isolated bus stops. If other people are around, this can prevent you appearing alone and possibly a target for theft or harassment.
- Be cautious when wearing headphones whilst you listen to music when you're on your own as you might not hear what's going on around you.
- Make sure your mobile phone is charged, and you have enough credit/data allowance to text or call someone in an emergency.
- Trust your feelings. If you think a place feels or looks unsafe, back away, go to somewhere you feel safe and call someone to meet you.
If you suspect trouble, or you see someone in trouble, dial 101 in a non-emergency situation or 999 for emergencies.