Personal Safety Advice
Violence is not as prevalent as the media might suggest. Statistically you are still more likely to be subject of violence from someone you know than from a stranger on the street. Personal Safety is not just an issue for women - evidence suggests that 'stranger' violence affects men more than women.
Fear of attack is often far greater than the actual risk, but there are simple measures which everyone can take to help protect themselves. Make yourself aware and responsible for your personal safety - keep yourself safe.
Immobilise is a website that is endorsed by the Constabulary that enables members of the public to create a free private and secure portfolio of personal property.
When walking and jogging:
- Never hitchhike.
- Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially after dark.
- Avoid short cuts and deserted areas; try to keep to well-lit busy streets.
- After dark avoid areas where someone could hide.
- Be aware of your surroundings, and avoid using personal stereos or radios.
- Don't wear a lot of jewellery, no matter how inexpensive, a potential thief might not be able to see the difference.
- Carry your bag close to your body, if possible with the opening towards your body.
- Don't be flash with your cash or mobile phones. Keep their use discreet and put them away after use.
- Have your keys at hand and easily accessible.
- Consider carrying a personal attack alarm.
- Make sure that you have a telephone card or change to make a telephone call, but remember - emergency 999 calls are free of charge.
On a Night Out:
- Think ahead - consider how you are going to get home. What about pre-booking a taxi or arranging a lift with a friend or family member?
- Make sure that you stay with your party and that someone knows where you are at all times.
- Where possible, don't walk home alone.
- Steer clear of trouble - if you see any trouble or suspect that it might be about to start, alert the police and keep away.
- Walk with confidence and be wary of casual requests from strangers, like someone asking for a cigarette or change.
- Avoid carrying your wallet in your back trouser pocket.
Keeping your Mobile Phone Safe:
- Mark your phone with indelible pen, including the battery and the battery cover.
- Use a pin number to prevent your phone from being used if it is stolen.
- Before you go out, consider whether you really need to take your mobile phone.
- Do not wear your phone on a belt clip; ensure that it cannot be seen.
- Think about your surroundings before using your phone; try not to attract too much attention.
- When in public areas switch your phone to vibrate mode so it does not attract attention if it rings.
- Keep a note of the international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number and the number of your service provider in case the worst happens.
Should your mobile phone be stolen or lost, then ring 08701 123 123. This will enable your phone to be 'stunned' rendering it useless to the thief even if the SIM card is changed.
Keeping your Credit Card Safe:
- Don't let your card out of your sight. Guard your card when making a transaction.
- Carefully discard receipts from card transactions to prevent others from acquiring information about you and your cards.
- Check your receipts against your statements and if you find an unfamiliar transaction contact your card issuer immediately.
- Never write down your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and never disclose it to anyone, even if they claim to be from your card issuer or the police.
- Report lost or stolen cards to your card issuer immediately. The 24-hour emergency number is on your last statement or call directory enquiries on 192.
- Sign any new cards as soon as they arrive. Ensure that you cut up the old cards as soon as the new ones become valid.
- Don't keep your chequebook with your cards.
- Never leave cards unattended and keep your bag or briefcase on your lap when using public transport.
- At work keep your bag and other personal belongings locked in a cupboard or drawer.
When using a cash machine:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Shield your Personal Identity Number (PIN) from people near you.
- Only key in your PIN when prompted by the cash machine.
- Never tell anybody your PIN - not even the bank or the police.
- Never accept help from strangers at the cash machine.
- Cancel your card immediately if it is retained by the cash machine, lost or stolen.
- DO NOT write down your PIN and keep it with your card.
Keep Safe Scheme
This scheme is aimed at supporting adults with learning disabilities to live independently and safely.
The scheme has been introduced by Gloucestershire Constabulary and Gloucestershire County Council and should help vulnerable adults who find themselves in difficulties when out and about.
These adults will be issued with a “KeepSafe” card which bears emergency contact details and information about them. If they get into any difficulty that they cannot resolve alone, they may look for a “Safe Place” sticker, which are displayed across the county in premises that have volunteered to support the scheme. This could be something as simple as being lost, or having missed their bus, or equally if they have been the victim of a crime. They may then enter the “Safe Place” premises and show their card and they will be given assistance appropriate to their problem - usually a telephone call to the emergency contact details and a place to wait safely for help. The volunteer premises have had awareness training so that they know the importance of getting the carer as the priority, unless there is immediate evidence of a need for the police as well. This should hopefully help the card-holders to feel safer about going out and get them the right assistance quicker, and not necessarily mean having to wait for police attendance for help.
The cards are available through the Drop-In Centres which are located as follows
- Gloucester – Three Cocks Lane, Westgate Street tel 01452 529663
- Cheltenham – 350 the High Street, tel 01242 244950
- Stroud – The Shambles, tel 01453 757081
- If you see a card or are asked for help please call the details on the card and deal with the incident as you normally would.
- If you know an adult with learning disabilities, or perhaps a severe communication difficulty who would benefit from the scheme they may self-refer at the Drop-In above, or their carer can do so on their behalf. They MUST have a person to put as their contact who can easily get to them in an emergency
For further information
In Gloucester/Forest please email DC Hannah Mackie,
In Cheltenham/Tewkesbury please email PCSO Steven Benbow,
In Stroud//Cotswolds please email Pc Michael Stanley