How To Become More Street-Wise
We live in increasingly aggressive times and one of the most effective ways to prevent ourselves from becoming another crime statistic is to think outside the box, and avoid drawing attention to ourselves. Being conscious of our surroundings can often help us to steer clear of trouble by not give the impression of being a potential ‘victim’ and easy prey to any potential attacker.
If carrying a handbag, use one with a long strap and wear it slung across your body, rather than on the shoulder.
When shopping, only take as much money as you expect to use, and don’t ‘flash the cash’. Keep notes in separate compartments so they can’t all be seen when you open your purse or wallet.
If using an ATM machine make sure you keep the keypad covered when entering your PIN number.
Always try to walk on well-lit streets and plan your route to avoid empty underpasses and dark streets and alleyways. If this isn’t possible, take a cab.
Be sure of your route before setting out, so it won’t be necessary to stop people to ask for directions. If you get lost call a cab, don’t wander off into unknown territory.
When travelling by train or tube avoid sitting in an empty carriage. If the one you are in empties, move to another where there are other people, particularly late at night.
If you think someone is paying you too much attention, do not acknowledge that you’ve noticed but move to a place where there are other people.
If you think someone is following you, cross the road and, if necessary, go into a shop, or knock at a house and explain your problem.
Always walk facing the flow of traffic so that a car cannot pull up behind you unnoticed.
When driving in a risky neighbourhood, especially at night, keep the car doors and windows locked and store any belongings (briefcase or handbag) out of sight. If you suspect your car is being followed, drive to a well-lit area (i.e. service station) and ask for help, or stop at a police station
Because one of the most effective deterrents against assault is to make the assailant feel you might be able to fend off an attack, looking self-assured can help reduce vulnerability. Take a self-defence course to increase confidence.
Always have your key ready as you approach your house or car.
If you carry an alarm or whistle, be sure to hold it in your hand. It will be of no use buried at the bottom of your handbag.