Personal safety - crime prevention
The majority of crimes are property related rather than being against people. These include burglary, vehicle theft, vandalism/criminal damage and other theft.
Violent crimes against the person by strangers remain uncommon, but it is still important to take personal safety seriously.
Before you even set foot outside of your home there are several steps you can take to protect your personal possessions from being lost or stolen.
- Never carry your personal identification number (PIN) with your cash dispensing cards.
- Mark your mobile phone with indelible pen, including the battery and the battery cover.
- Make a note of your mobile phone’s unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number by dialling *#06#. Keep this number in a safe place.
- Register your mobile phone and other valuables with Immobilise, the world’s largest free searchable property register.
- If your mobile phone is lost or stolen call your service provider or the Immobilise mobile phone to have the phone blocked.
Personal safety in public places
By taking sensible precautions you can make yourself even less likely to become a victim of street crime.
- If you’re walking alone stick to busy, well lit areas and try to look confident.
- Keep valuables out of sight – don’t walk and talk on your mobile phone at the same time.
- Keep your purse or wallet out of sight and don’t flash your cash.
- Keep bags and rucksacks closed, zipped and buckled.
- Try to withdraw money from a cash point in daylight or go with a friend if you can. At night, choose a well lit location.
- If someone tries to take something from you it may be better to let them have it rather than try to defend yourself.
- If you decide to defend yourself remember that your attacker might be stronger than you – it is often better just to shout loudly and run away.
- When out walking or jogging and if listening to music, be aware that you might not be able to hear someone approaching.
On a night out
Simple, sensible steps to help make your night out even safer.
- Think ahead – consider how you are going to get home. Pre-book a taxi or arrange a lift with a friend or family member. Use public transport rather than walk home alone.
- Don’t drink too much – you make yourself vulnerable and an easy target.
- Don’t leave drinks unattended; and if accepting drinks make sure you see the drink being poured.
- Stick with your friends – you are more likely to be a target on your own.
- Walk with confidence and be wary of casual requests from strangers, like someone asking for a cigarette or change.
- If you suspect you are being followed, cross over the road to see if they follow. If you’re still worried, don’t hang about. Go into a pub or shop to call a friend to meet you.
- Have your house keys ready before you reach the door. Rummaging around for them means you’re not looking at what’s around you.
Staying safe when you’re using public transport
On the bus
- Use a bus stop you know, or one that appears busy and well lit.
- Sit near to the driver.
- If you’re going to an unfamiliar place, plan your route and arrange for friends to meet you at your destination.
Taking a taxi
Genuine taxis are licensed by the Road Traffic Licensing Committee and should display a plate showing their licence number. Use a taxi company you know, or one recommended by family or friends.
- If you have booked a taxi over the phone, make sure the driver knows your name and destination, in order to ensure it’s the correct taxi.
- Always sit behind the taxi driver in the back seat. If you feel uneasy ask the driver to stop in a busy, well lit place and get out of the car.
- Have your money and keys ready so that you can get into your home quickly at the end of your journey.