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A guide on how to stay safe when you're out alone

Here, a personal safety expert reveals her tips for staying safe.

1. Avoid distractions. If listening to music, keep one earphone out when walking or cycling alone. Chatting on your mobile will make you less aware of what’s happening around you, it’s important to keep your wits about you.

2. Walk with a sense of purpose and try and keep one hand free.

3. Stay on busy streets wherever you can and away from badly-lit areas. Walk facing oncoming traffic to deter curb crawlers.

4. If you’re out for a few drinks be careful that you don’t have a few too many and your judgement becomes clouded.

5. Have your house keys ready before you reach the door and carry them on you, not in your bag. Rummaging around for them means you’re not looking at what’s going on around you.

6. The old, wise saying of ‘there’s safety in numbers’ isn’t a myth – the more of you there are, the better.

7. Keep your mobile phone charged, tell people where you’re going and have the phone number of a reliable and safe taxi company easily accessible.

8. Be on the look-out for anyone acting suspiciously and if you have cause for concern get to a safe place. If something doesn’t seem right – you’re probably right.

9. If you’re confronted make as much noise as you possibly can. Scream at the top of your lungs. If your attacker has already got hold of you, it’s not too late. It’s time for you to rise to the occasion and get physical. This is and must be a last resort! Your elbows, knees, heels and head are your body’s bony built-in weapons. Use them.

10. Be prepared and take a self-defence class.



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