Keeping yourself safe
Avon and Somerset is a safe place to live and the chances of you becoming a victim of personal crime are low. But we can all take simple precautions and make ourselves aware to keep safe.
Out and about
Protect your personal possessions
- Keep your phones/bags/purses/wallets/iPods/cameras out of sight – do not advertise your stuff.
- Do not leave your bag, phone, purses, or wallets unattended, even briefly. Bags left in shopping trolleys present the perfect target for thieves.
- Do not hang bags containing your purse/wallet or other valuables on the backs of chairs or tucked under chairs where you cannot see them.
- Watch out for people approaching you when sat at a table, say at a coffee shop. A common technique is to ask for directions and use the cover of a map or newspaper to take your valuables from the table.
- Register your property on the Immobilise website.
- Download Securing Your Property Out and About Leaflet (PDF).
- Go to the Protect Your Property from Thieves page.
In pubs and clubs
- Look out for your friends.
- If you are out and going to be late, think about how you’re going to get home. For example, pre-book a taxi or arrange a lift with a designated driver. Let someone know about your plans – and tell them if they change.
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Find out how to report drink and drug spiking.
- Steer clear of trouble. If you see any trouble or suspect that it might be about to start, keep clear. The best thing you can do is avoid it and alert the police.
- Stay alert, look confident and act confidently.
- Cover up jewellery, mobile phones and iPods and keep your bag close to your body.
- Plan your route ahead.
- Never hitchhike.
- Consider carrying a personal attack alarm.
- Take sensible precautions if walking alone in the dark. For example, try to stick to well-lit busy streets and be vigilant.
- Walk facing oncoming traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you.
- If you regularly go walking or jogging, vary your route.
- Avoid wearing headphones or using your mobile phone while walking or jogging.
- When going to your car or home, have your keys ready at hand.
- If you think you’re being followed, walk to the busiest place you can find or knock on a door. Then call the police.
- If you are attacked, shout for help as loudly as you can or shout for someone to contact the police. Use your personal attack alarm. Try to get to a safe place and call the police.
- If someone attempts to take something from you, consider letting them have it rather than risk being hurt.
Personal safety apps
Own a smartphone? There are a number of personal safety apps you can download. Many of them are designed specifically to support lone workers.
On buses and trains
- Always plan your journey.
- While waiting for a bus or train, stand in a well-lit place near other people.
- Sit near the driver or other people. Avoid empty carriages or empty top decks.
- If you are being pestered, tell the guard or driver, or call the police.
- Keep your belongings near to you.
- Do not leave laptops, mobile phones or bags unattended – even if you are only going to the buffet carriage for a few minutes.
Trust your instincts
If you feel uncomfortable, find a safe, alternative route or go to the nearest busy place.
Travelling by taxi
- Always use a registered taxi company, never use an unlicensed minicab.
- Carry the phone number of a taxi company you have used before and trust.
- When the taxi arrives, check to see it is the one you ordered – ask the driver the name you have given and the destination.
- Always sit in the back and carry a mobile phone.
- If you have a problem with the driver make a note of the number on the white plate inside the taxi, or the registration number and car’s make and report it to the police or local council.
If a crime is in progress you should always call 999 from a safe place.
You can report an item of property stolen or if you witnessed a theft:
If you feel unsafe or need assistance from police while travelling on the rail network, you can contact British Transport Police by
- phone – call 0800 40 50 40
- text – text 61016
- online – visit the British Transport Police website
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust works to raise awareness of the importance of personal safety and provide practical guidance to help people feel safer and more confident. Visit the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website.