Walking with confidence
Plan your route and try to walk with a friend if possible. At night keep to well-lit busy roads and thoroughfares where you can. Try to avoid short cuts through parks, alleyways or car parks.
- Be aware of what is going on around you.
- Avoid wearing headphones as they will make it harder to hear people approaching you, and may also indicate that you have something (music player) worth attempting to steal.
- Carry a torch for dark areas.
- Walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic, and if you are walking across a common or parkland keep to the main paths and open spaces where you can see and be seen.
- Avoid wooded areas.
Consider carrying a personal attack alarm; they are cheap and available from many DIY stores. Carry it in your hand, not your bag or pocket, so that if needed you can use it immediately.
If you think you’re being followed, cross the street, perhaps several times, to check. If you can, go into a shop and stay there until you're sure you're safe. If you are really worried, find a busy place and call police. Remember that people may be intimidated if you walk close behind them.
If a vehicle driver stops and speaks to you:
- Keep your distance from the vehicle.
- If you feel threatened, move away quickly in the opposite direction from the way the car is facing.
- If you can, try to remember vehicle details (number plate, make, colour) and call the police.
Never accept a lift from someone you don't know well or don't feel comfortable with.
Be careful with electronics - talking on a mobile phone, listening to an MP3 player or carrying a laptop bag shows thieves that you have something to steal. It's also a good idea to cover up expensive jewellery.
Watch out for pickpockets, particularly in crowded places. Take the following precautions:
- Keep valuables out of sight and in front trouser pockets if possible.
- Don't carry important documents or credit cards that you do not need.
- Consider using a purse chain.
- If you're carrying a bag, try to have it across your chest and keep your hand over the fastening.
- If someone grabs your bag, let it go - your safety is more important than your property.
- Try to avoid using cash machines at night.
- Only take your wallet out when you need to.
If you take a regular route walking the dog, jogging or cycling, try to make variations and go at different times.
Download the Suzy Lamplugh Trust 'Keeping safe on the streets' leaflet.