How safe is your street?

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Safety in the Street

 

  • Walk purposefully and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Take notice of your street names and the location of telephone boxes.
  • At night, if possible, keep to well-lit streets and major thoroughfares.
  • If you think you are being followed, walk close to the road or cross to the other side.
  • Don’t cover both ears when using earphones!
  • When using an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) make sure nobody is watching you. Take measures to ensure that nobody can see your PIN being entered.
  • If you are uncertain about using an ATM consider alternative access to money, service stations, supermarkets etc.
  • Bags and handbags should be carried close to you. If your bag is grabbed, release it and if possible, empty the contents on the ground. This may prevent injury and possibly deter the thief from stealing all your property.
  • Try not to be out in the street at 3 in the morning if you don’t have to!

 

If you have been assaulted

 

  • Try to go to a place where you feel safe.
  • Contact police as soon as possible to report the assault, this will assist investigators and increase the chances of the offender being caught and prosecuted.
  • In the case of sexual assaults, knowing your attacker should not stop you from seeking help or taking legal action.

 

Handbag Security

 

Your handbag or its contents can be stolen in seconds. Your cash and cards will be used shortly after and the inconvenience or replacing everything in your handbag takes time and money. By taking a few simple steps you may avoid having your handbag or wallet stolen.

  • Carry purses and handbags close to your body. Ensure they are zipped and secured at all times.
  • Never leave your handbag unattended in a shopping trolley or on top of a pram. Inattention when purchasing items can lead to a handbag theft.
  • Be mindful of distractions. Thieves working in pairs may attempt to divert your attention in order to steal your handbag or its contents. One may ask you for the time or for directions while the other is stealing your purse from your bag.
  • In restaurants and cafes place your bag on your lap. Leaving a bag on the floor or seat beside you is vulnerable to distraction techniques.
  • If your bag is stolen report it to the police. Notify your bank or credit card provider as soon as possible. Never keep a written record of your PIN numbers with your cards.

 

The writer is Senior Constable & Community Liaison Officer with the VIC police

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