Personal safety

The chance of you being a victim of crime in a public place is low. However it is something many of us worry about.

The best way to minimise the risk is by taking sensible precautions. You may already be aware of a few of the suggestions below, but some may be new.

On the street

  • Use busy, well lit areas, especially at night
  • Carry your bag close to you. Your keys should be in your pocket
  • Keep valuables out of sight
  • Don’t carry large sums of money
  • Before using a cash point, check there is no one hovering around you
  • If in a wheelchair, don’t keep your valuables at the back of the chair
  • Don’t take shortcuts through dark alleys, parks or across waste ground
  • If you have to walk home in the dark, consider getting a personal attack alarm
  • If you think you are being followed, go to a busy area and call the police
  • If someone grabs your bag, let it go - your safety comes first

On public transport

  • Try and wait for public transport in busy, well-lit areas, especially at night
  • On empty buses or trains, sit next to or as near as possible to the driver or guard
  • If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, move away
  • Try to be near a bell or emergency alarm

Getting a taxi

  • Keep the number of a reliable licensed taxi company
  • Book a taxi before you go out. When it arrives check it is the one you ordered
  • Sit behind the driver
  • If you feel uneasy, ask to be let out in a busy area

In the car

  • Try to park in busy, well-lit areas
  • Keep valuable and personal items out of sight
  • Keep the doors locked whilst you are driving
  • Try not to run out of petrol. Have enough money for more fuel if need be
  • Plan your route and if you are driving at night, keep to the main roads
  • Don’t pick up hitch-hikers. If you have seen someone has broken down, drive to the next service station and phone the police
  • Think about what you will do if you break down? Do you have a mobile phone in an emergency? Do you have a blanket to keep you warm while you wait for help?

Further advice

The Metropolitan Police has information on preventing personal theft.

Visit the Metropolitan Police website

Suzy Lamplugh Trust has good personal safety tips.

Visit Suzy Lamplugh Trust website

Road users can get road safety information from THINK!.

Visit THINK! website

There is information by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on safety for cyclists, motorcyclists, drivers and pedestrians.

Visit ROSPA website

You can find more information on personal safety on a guide produced by the Home Office.

View guide to personal safety

Have you been a victim of crime?

Being a victim of any crime is an unpleasant experience. Support isavailable to you and you are encouraged to report all crimes to the Police. You can get help from Victim Support.

Visit Victim Support website

Useful links

Other MyLife pages: Safety at home, Domestic violence, Harassment and hate crime, Protecting at adults of risk and abuse, Help in an emergency, Internet safety

External websites: Metropolitan Police, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, THINK!, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident (RoSPA), Victim Support