Personal safety is an important consideration in the current climate. Whether its stepping out at night, commuting from work or meeting someone new individuals are increasingly leaving themselves vulnerable.
People often let complete strangers into their lives, through dating apps or social media apps and worryingly dating app crimes are on the increase. It is critical to be security aware and the following precautions can significantly improve your safety.
Awareness: this is your first line of defence, be aware of yourself and your surroundings. This gives you knowledge and confidence. Intuition is a powerful tool. Trust your gut instinct.
If you do find yourself in the unlikely situation where you are at the mercy of someone else, run away if you can. Shout, scream and if the criminal is after your purse or phone throw that one way and run in the other direction.
Stay connected: always communicate your location to someone but LIMIT the amount of information shared on social media regards travel, work and meeting plans.
Keep an emergency £10 note hidden but not in your purse.
Walking and texting is when you are most distracted and likely to give potential thieves the ideal opportunity. Stop and text with your back against a wall to reduce your risk.
Always be aware of where your bag or belongings are. Do not hang your bag over the back of a chair or place mobile phones or tablets unattended on tables.
If a stranger buys you a drink, go to the bar with them and watch that nothing is added to your drink. Never leave your drink unattended.
Travel with co-workers where possible even to the car park. Check the back seat of your car before getting in.
Lock your car doors when your on the move.
If your window is open don’t leave your bag on the front seat.
Avoid isolated bus or train stops, travel in busy carriages or sit near the bus driver during off peak hours. Ensure your phone is working and charged and sit close to the driver.
Walk purposefully and be cautious, have a sense of what is going on in your periphery.
Pre book a licensed cab to pick you up or use a mini cab office. Never get into an unlicensed mini cab, they are illegal and are often uninsured and potentially dangerous.
Communicate your plans: let friends or family members know where you’re going and when you will be home.
When going on a first date, arrange to contact a friend when the date is over.
Meet in a public place with lots of people around. Watch your alcohol intake; don’t leave your drinks unattended. Keep your wits about you and leave at any time if you feel uncomfortable.
Use your own transportation to get to and from the date. Keep your purse, wallet and personal items with you, don’t leave them unattended. Ensure your phone is fully charged and carry this with you at all times.