Safety when in public places

Below are some safety tips to protect yourself in public places:

  • Always walk in well-lit and busy areas. This provides more opportunity for natural surveillance and safety in numbers.
  • Avoid walking close to overgrown bushes or trees where a potential offender could hide. Always be aware of your environment.
  • Walk against the flow of traffic to prevent vehicles driving slowly alongside you.
  • Be aware of vehicles pulling over and parking ahead of you.
  • Walk with a friend or group wherever possible.
  • If you regularly walk by yourself, consider varying your route so your routine is not easily identified.
  • Plan ahead – how are you going to get home?
  • Walk at a steady pace. Body language is an effective means of promoting confidence.
  • Always remain alert, don’t be complacent and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Turn down the volume on your iPod or mp3 player so you can hear what is happening around you or do not wear ear phones at all – be aware of your environment.

Your vehicle and personal security

Below are some tips to consider when using your motor vehicle:

  • Check the surrounding area before going to your car and check your back seat before getting in. Being aware of your surroundings allows you more time to react if there is an incident.
  • Have someone accompany you to your car. This can stop people getting into your car without permission.
  • Lock your doors after entering or leaving your car and drive with your doors locked.
  • Have your keys ready before you get to the car.
  • Consider storing your handbag/valuables in your car boot rather than on the passenger seat while driving.
  • Be careful when stopping for broken down cars, at accidents or in dark and isolated areas. Only stop if you feel safe to do so.
  • Turn off your ignition if you are leaving your car unattended.
  • If your car breaks down, try to turn off the road and put on your hazard lights. If someone stops, remain locked in your car and if you do not have a mobile phone and have not already called for help, speak to them through a small opening in the window. Ask them to call the police, an auto club or some assistance specified by you. Try to get their vehicle registration number and a description of the driver and look for distinguishing features if possible. This can assist with investigation if an offence occurs.

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The NHWQ blog is not to be used as an alternative means of reporting crimes or other offences.