Personal Safey

Think smart about your safety!  Stay street wise by following some of the following simple advice when you are out and about.

Keeping your personable valuables safe

Mobile Phones

If you’re making a mobile phone call you are less aware of your surroundings; this leaves you vulnerable to thieves and it is incredibly easy to snatch a phone from out of someone’s hands. If you need to make or receive a call stand still whilst you do so, in order that you can pay more attention to what’s going on around you.

Laptops

Carrying a laptop in a laptop bag is just advertising what you are carrying to potential thieves. Instead of using a laptop bag carry it in a rucksack or sports bag to hide the shape.

iPods

If you have an iPod avoid using the white earphones as this is, again, advertising what you have – black standard earpones may not be as cool, but they are definitely safer!

Also
  • Avoid carrying your wallet in your back pocket.
  • Avoid using ATMs at night, but if you have to use one try to go with friends and if you see anyone suspicious don’t withdraw any money.  Wherever possible use the ones within the bank branches during the day.
  • Personal attack alarms may be available from you local police. Statistically males are more likely to be assaulted, so boys please do not think it isn’t macho to carry a personal attack alarm yourself!
  • When carrying bags, try to have the opening facing in to your body – this makes it harder for someone to grab something from inside your bag.

When out walking

  • Avoid walking home after a night out – try and stay in a group as much as possible; avoid dimly lit areas and short cuts.
  • Whether day or night, try to plan your route home and avoid stopping to look at a map.
  • Avoid using empty subways by yourself particularly if they are long, or you cannot see all the way through it
  • Walk with confidence!
  • If you ever feel that you are being followed, initially try crossing over the road. If they cross with you try to make towards a busy public area and then ask for help.

When travelling by public transport

Taxis

Remember you are only insured if you phoned and booked the taxi (i.e. a private hire vehicle), or if the taxi is an old style hackney ‘black cab’. You can only flag down ‘black cabs’.   Don’t get into an unlicensed vehicle.  If you can’t see the license, ask to see it.  Avoid travelling alone.

Buses

Remember to sit close to the driver where possible or in view of the CCTV if present, and avoid sitting upstairs if you are by yourself. Check service times before leaving to avoid waiting at bus-stops for long periods.

Trains

If travelling by train, try to choose to sit in a carriage with and near to other people.

Nights Out

When you go on a night out make sure you make it a night to remember for the right reasons! Here’s some simple advice to make sure that your great night out is also a safe night out.

Before Going Out

Plan your evening before you go, preferably pre-booking a taxi for your return journey.

Whilst Out…
  • Go out in a group, stay in a group and return in a group.
  • Try to have someone in the group that stays sober to make sure that everyone else is safe.
  • Avoid mixing your drinks, and try to break up the evening with water (this will do wonders to help you avoid getting a hangover).
Drink Spiking

Little is known currently about how common drink spiking is, but what is known is that it’s not Rohypnol, or GHB, or Ketamine that are the biggest problems – the most widely used substance to spike drinks is alcohol.

If your friend asks you for a vodka and you put other alcohol in there (whether it’s for a laugh, because it’s their birthday, or you feel that they need to enjoy themselves), you are actually spiking their drink

The Myth:
It only happens to girls.

The Fact:
Men are also at risk and should take precautionary measures. It always involves a sexual assault.

The Myth:
It only happens to people drinking alcohol.

The Fact:
The drugs are mostly colourless, odourless and tasteless so can be put in any drink regardless of alcohol content.

The Myth:
I should just stay at home and not go out to pubs or clubs.

The Fact:
Your chances of being a victim of drink spiking are small and can be reduced further by taking the following advice:

4 Steps to minimise your risk
  1. Never leave your drink unattended or turn your back on your drink.
  2. Be aware of the amount of alcohol you are drinking.
  3. Avoid accepting drinks from strangers; if you do make sure you see it poured/opened and that nobody has interfered with it before it gets to you.
  4. Drink from a bottle and cover the top with your thumb.If you are a smoker and need to go outside to smoke, do this in between rounds so you are not leaving a drink unattended.

If you think your drink has been spiked:

  • It is important that you seek help straight away from someone you know and trust 100%.
  • Seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
  • Report the matter to the police because the main drugs used to spike drinks are out of your system very quickly.