Protecting Yourself

The chances of you or a member of your family becoming a victim of violent crime are low. Violent crime by strangers in public places are rarer still and account for a very small proportion of recorded crime. You can reduce the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime further by taking a few simple precautions.

Avoid becoming a victim

  • Keep to well lit and busy areas, particularly at night.
  • Try and look and act confident - look like you know where you are going, 'walk tall'.
  • If possible, spread your valuables around your person (ie keep your phone in a bag, your house keys in a pocket and your money in a jacket).
  • If you use a wheelchair, keep your things beside you rather than at the back of your chair.
  • Try not to be conspicuous about the valuables you are carrying - talking on your mobile, carrying a laptop or showing your friends your new jewellery for example, all show thieves you are worth robbing.
  • When out walking or jogging, don't listen to a personal stereo through headphones - you may be less alert to your surroundings.

If you are attacked

If someone tries to take something from you, it may be best to let them take it rather than get into a confrontation and risk being hurt.

You can use reasonable force in self-defence and you are allowed to protect yourself with something you are carrying, for example, keys or a can of deodorant. But it is against the law to carry a weapon.

If you decide to defend yourself, be aware that your attacker may be stronger than you, or may take what you are using in self-defence and use it against you.

It is often better to shout loudly and run away. Personal alarms, sometimes known as rape alarms, are available to buy. They send out a high pitched sound which alerts people that you are in danger.