Personal safety out and about Safety on the street Plan ahead Before you go out, consider how you are going to get home, e.g. Can you travel home with a friend? What time does the last bus/train leave? Prepare for your day before you leave – consider what you might need. Update someone on your plans. Consider carrying a personal alarm. Plan your journey – google street view is particularly useful for identifying landmarks in an unknown area before you set off. When travelling on foot Try to use well-lit, busy streets and use the route you know best. Plan your route before you set off. Avoid higher risk areas. If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and take action. As confidently as you can, cross the road, turning to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, keep moving. Head to a busy area and tell people what is happening. If necessary, call the police. Remain aware Be aware when using cash point machines. If there are signs of tampering or people acting suspiciously, do not use it. Try not to keep all your valuables in one place. It’s a good idea to keep valuables such as wallets in an inside pocket and separate small amount of cash or a bankcard from your main purse/wallet. Consider carrying a personal safety alarm, which can be used to shock and distract an attacker giving you vital seconds to get away. Running Safely Remember personal safety while out running. Let someone know where you're going and for how long. Consider downloading a running tracker app on which a trusted family member or friend can trace your movements. Plan your route before-hand, taking into account whether it will be a busy or well lit area. Consider running with others if possible, or joining a running group. Consider carrying a personal alarm, to enable you to get away from an attacker by distracting and distracting them. Consider just having one earphone in to ensure you can hear any changes in your surroundings. If running when it is dark, consider carrying a torch - a head torch is a hands-free option. If running when it is dark along the road, wear reflective clothing so that road users can see you. Carry a small amount of cash, or your card, to enable you to get home should you need to. If you feel uncomfortable, or at risk, seek a place of safety, such as a shop or anywhere where there are other people, and tell someone what is happening or has happened. Festival safety Festivals are a time to have fun and relax but remember to be prepared in case of an emergency. Camping Try to find a well-lit plot and note nearby landmarks. Identify campsite managers and officials – do they have a contact number for emergencies? Consider taking very few valuable possessions, and don’t leave them unattended in your tent. Avoid putting a padlock on your tent as potential thieves may assume this means there are valuables inside. If you return to your tent to discover a stranger in it, contact site management, security or the police. If parked onsite, don’t leave anything valuable in your car. Leave your glove compartment empty and open. Keep in contact Keep your mobile phone charged so that you can communicate at all times. Check out if there are onsite recharging facilities, or take a portable charger with you. Consider agreeing where your group will meet at certain times of the day, in case someone loses their phone/has it stolen/their batteries die etc. and they cannot be contacted. If possible, stay in groups. What to carry Keep your phone on you at all times. Keep some cash on you at all times or check if you can use cards. Take note of your bank's emergency number so you can contact them if your cards are lost or stolen. Carry a torch . Stay alert and aware Try to stick to well-lit, busy areas when possible. Be aware of aggressive behaviour from others, and remove yourself from aggressive situations. Never leave your drink unattended. If you feel unwell, tell security or venue staff. If you are a victim of crime, contact on site security or police immediately. Report any incident, even near misses, as soon as possible. Consider carrying a personal safety alarm. Personal alarms The purpose of a personal safety alarm is to shock and distract an attacker, giving you vital seconds to get away. There are lots of different types and choosing the best one for you can sometimes be tricky. Here are some tips on how to make the right choice. Important features Sound. If an attacker is to be shocked enough to pull away from you, this sound needs to be as loud and as shrill as possible. It is a common misconception that alarms will attract others as, if there is no one around, or others are far from us, they may not be attracted to the sound. Also if a personal alarm pulsates like many car alarms, the sound may not be recognisable as an attack alarm. The most effective sound is continuous and over 130 decibels (approx 138db is ideal). Easy to use. Your alarm needs to be easy to carry and easy to set off in one hand. Activation. How would you operate the alarm in an emergency? There are many different ways to activate different types of alarms, including push caps, push buttons and pull out pins. How fiddly is it to activate it? Do you have problems using your hands or fingers? Can it be operated simply by being pushed against something? When & how to use an alarm The primary function of an alarm is to distract an attacker. Set off the alarm, holding it as close to the attackers face as possible. Drop the alarm and make your escape. If it is by the attackers feet, it may also act as a visual distraction, as well as an audible distraction. If you are able to attract the attention of passers- by, you are more likely to get help if you shout a specific instruction – such as “Call the police!” This makes it clear that you are in danger and need help. Remember: Once you have set off your alarm, leave the situation as quickly as you can, moving to a busy area if possible. Don’t wait to check that your alarm has had the desired effect; just go. Remember: A personal alarm should be just one part of your personal safety plan. There are other tools you can use to help yourself feel safer.