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Personal safety – How to walk with confidence

Personal safety when you’re walking somewhere is incredibly important. Always plan your route and try to walk with a friend if possible. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind…

 

      ®     Be aware of what is going on around you

      ®     Keep to well-lit busy roads

      ®     Try to avoid shortcuts through parks, alleyways or car parks

      ®     Avoid wearing headphones as you won’t hear people approaching you

      ®     Carry a torch for dark areas

      ®     Walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic

      ®     If you are walking across a parkland keep to main paths and open spaces where you can see and be seen

      ®     Avoid wooded areas

 

It is a good idea to consider carrying a personal attack alarm, pepper spray or a small Taser; they are cheap and available from most stores. Carry it in your hand, so you can use it immediately.

If you think you are being followed, cross the street a few times to check. If you can, go into a shop or petrol station and stay there until you’re sure you’re safe. If you are really worried try find a busy place and call the police.

 

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 the vehicles details (number plate, colour, make) and call the police

      ®     Never accept a lift from someone you don’t know well or don’t feel comfortable with

 

Be careful with your electronics – talking on your cell phone, listening to an iPod or carrying a laptop bag shows thieves that you have something to steal. It’s also a good idea to cover up expensive jewelry.

Watch out for pickpockets, especially in crowded places. Take the following precautions:

 

      ®     Keep valuables out of sight and in your 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, hold it across your chest and keep your hand over the fastening

      ®     If someone grabs your bag, let it go – your safety is more important

      ®     Try to avoid using cash machines at night

      ®     Only take your wallet out when you need it

 

If you take a regular route when you walk the dog, go for a jog or a bike ride, try and take different routes every few days. If someone has been watching or following you, this will make it harder for them to find and attack you.