It is in everyone’s interests to take precautions to keep themselves and their property safe. Personal security does not have to be expensive or complicated – by making simple changes to your daily routine you can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime. Derbyshire is one of the safest places to live in the country but for every offence committed there is a victim left facing the consequences. Preventing crime results in fewer victims, reduces demand on local policing resources and creates safer streets. Thankfully, incidents of mugging and pickpocketing are reasonably low but if you are aware of how and where criminals who commit these crimes operate it may help you to avoid becoming a victim.
How can I protect myself?
By taking a few simple steps you can deter criminals from targeting you or your property. You can achieve this in a number of ways, including:
- Not taking unnecessary risks that leave you vulnerable to criminality. For example, wherever possible, don’t walk around at night on your own, but if this is unavoidable try to stay in well-lit areas where there are plenty of other people about.
- If you are on a night out, drink responsibly and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Plan how you will get home in advance and don’t leave your drink unattended.
- If you are using a taxi, use a valid taxi service or online cab checker to confirm it is licensed or send the registration number to a friend.
- Remember, your phone or handbag is less valuable than you, don’t get hurt in an attempt to hang on to it if the worst happens. Don’t put all your valuables (phones, wallets etc) in the same place, so that you don’t lose everything should anything untoward take place.
- Keep mobile phones and similar items out of sight. You wouldn’t walk around holding a handful of cash, so treat your phone and other valuables the same way.
- Don’t leave your bag or purchases unattended (for instance in a shopping trolley, or on a cafe table while getting food). Keep your bag zipped up and the contents private. Consider attaching bells to your purse or phone and wear your bag across your chest so that it can’t be pulled from your shoulder.
- Keep the “prize” out of sight (make sure expensive belongings aren’t in view).
- Make sure you don’t leave ladders and bins where they can be used to enter a property and do keep doors and windows secure.
How do I stay safe?
If you feel that you or your family is at risk, talk to someone. Your local neighbourhood police team can be contacted via the non-urgent police number 101. You can also access help and advice at the following organisations.
CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection) provides advice about staying safe online for both children and parents and allows victims to report any online behaviour they are uncomfortable with.
Think Jessica is a registered charity supported by countless agencies, organisations and police forces nationwide and is committed to making people aware of the danger and financial implications caused by postal and telephone scams, educating professionals and protecting the most vulnerable members of our society from illegal practices.