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Thursday 10 December 2009

Christmas Party – Personal Safety Advice

As Christmas and New Year approaches many of us go out with friends, family and workmates to celebrate over the festive period. Whilst out and about take a few sensible, generally common sense precautions, to ensure that you and your possessions stay safe over the party period.

Getting to & from your Venue
It is important to plan ahead for a night out. Decide how you are getting to the venue and home again afterwards before you leave home for the night. Always make someone aware of where you are intending to go and when you plan to return so someone else is aware of your plans for the night.

If driving: 1.) Keep your car in good condition and ensure that you have enough petrol for your journey.
2.) Try to park in well-lit or busy areas. If parking during the day, think about how the car park will feel after dark.
3.) Do not give lifts or accept lifts from people that you do not know
4.) Never drive if you have been drinking and do not accept a lift from someone who has.

Public transport: 1.) Try to wait in busy and well lit areas.
2.) Sit near to other people, near the driver if you are on a bus or near the guard if on a train.
3.) Put the money aside for your journey home at the start of your night so you aren’t caught short of the cash required for the journey
4.) If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, get up and move away

Taxis: 1.) Always pre-book your taxi at the start of the night and ensure that it is your taxi before getting into it.
2.) If you have pre-booked your taxi keep a note of the firm you are using and their phone number and leave it with a family member or friend.
3.) Always have the number of a couple of reliable taxi firms handy/on your phone.
4.) Avoid the temptation to take a minicab on the street even if you are having difficulty getting a cab - it is illegal for most minicabs to take passengers who have not pre-booked.
5.) If in any doubt, don’t get in the taxi.

At the Venue

1.) Keep an eye on your valuables. Don’t leave your handbag over the back of your seat and keep your purse and wallet close – busy venues can attract pickpockets.
2.) No one will look after your valuables as well as you! Don’t rely on someone else to watch your purse/phone whilst you go for a drink or to the toilet. Take them with you.

On the Street

1.) When visiting cash machines be aware of who is hanging around you and try not to make it obvious if you are withdrawing larger amounts of cash. If you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction and find another machine.
2.) It is extremely rare to be a victim of robbery but if someone tries to take something from you by force, it may be best to let them take it. If you decide to try and defend yourself be aware your attacker may be stronger than you. It is often better to run away and shout loudly for help.
3.) Try to look and act confident, look like you know where you are going and walk tall.
4.) Stay alert – don’t walk along listening to music or talking on your phone. This not only advertises that you have this item but means you are distracted and less aware if someone approaches to try and take the item.
5.) It is a common misconception that women are more likely to be targeted by thieves whilst out and about. In reality, young males, on their own are the most common targets for street crime. Whilst walking between venues, stay with your friends and try to steer clear of any confrontations. Keep valuables out of sight. If you feel threatened or are a victim of crime, ring the police immediately.

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