There are a number of dangers that you can encounter when out travelling, as well as a number of precautions that you can take to ensure that you remain safe.
Below is advice that you can follow when travelling by car, by foot, by public transport, by taxi and by bike.
- When driving, if someone attempts to flag you down, drive on until you come to a service station, or somewhere busy, where you can safely call the police.
- Keep car doors locked when driving and keep your valuables out of sight. If you require to have a window open, only wind it down a little. Winding the window down further than necessary will leave you in a vulnerable position, especially when stopped in traffic.
- If you think you are being followed by another vehicle, try to alert others by flashing your lights and sounding your horn. If you can, keep driving until you come to a busy place where you can contact the police.
- When out walking, always attempt to walk facing the traffic so that a car cannot pull up behind you.
- If you often walk home alone, purchase a personal attack alarm: carry it in your hand so that, if required, you can use it immediately. Make sure that the alarm is designed to continue sounding if dropped to the ground.
- If you think someone is following you, check by crossing to the other side of the street - cross more than once if necessary. If the person behind you crosses also and you believe that your suspicions are confirmed, enter a pub or a busy place and contact the police. Avoid using a phone box in the street as this gives the person following you an opportunity to trap you.
- If you regularly go jogging or cycling, try to vary your route and the time you go. Also, stick to well-lit roads with pavements and avoid wooded areas. Remember, if you wear headphones, you will be unable to hear someone approaching you from behind.
- Don't take short-cuts through dark alleyways, parks or waste ground.
Travelling by Taxi
- Check that the taxi that arrives for you is the one that you ordered by asking the driver the name of the taxi company that he works for and by asking him to name the person he is supposed to collect - do not volunteer your name.
- Ask the taxi company for a description of the car, make of car and colour - and verify that the information is correct when the taxi cab arrives.
- If you are returning home, ask the driver not to drive away until you are safely inside your home.
- If alone, do not sit beside the driver. If you do so, you will place yourself in a more vulnerable position.
Travelling on Public Transport
- Try to stay away from isolated bus stops, especially after dark.
- On an empty bus, sit near the driver.
- On a train, sit in a compartment where there are other people - ideally, one which will allow you to alight close to your station's exit.
- Check to see where the nearest emergency chain is located.
Travelling by Bike
- Security mark your bike using a UV pen - the mark should include your home postcode and house number. Keep a photograph of the bike and a note of any other distinguishing features. These measures will help to identify the cycle if it is recovered at a later stage.
- Don't leave your bicycle in isolated places.
- Always lock your cycle even if you are leaving it unattended for a short period of time.
- Lock your bicycle through the frame.
- Lock the wheels.
- Remove small parts that cannot be readily secured.
- Where possible, lock your cycle to a fixed structure using a good quality lock.