Robberies (including muggings, and snatch thefts) are crimes that often involve violence or threats. While the likelihood of this happening is small, you should be aware of what you can do to keep yourself and your property safe.
Staying safe from robbery
- If you have to walk alone at night take extra care. Stay on roads that are well lit and relatively busy
- Plan your route in advance
- Avoid short cuts that involve alleyways or walking across parks or commons unless they are well-lit
- If you're carrying a bag, try to have it across your chest and keep your hand over the fastening
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to what's going on around you
- Be careful with your electronics; talking on a mobile phone, listening to an MP3 player or carrying a laptop bag shows thieves that you have something to steal
- Don't carry important documents or credit cards that you do not need
- Only take your wallet out when you need to
- If you think you are being followed, cross the road or go into a shop and stay there until you're sure you're safe
Staying safe on public transport
If you are travelling by yourself and you know how to get home, using public transport is safer than walking. However, you should still use common sense to protect yourself.
If you are waiting for a bus or a train, stand in a well-lighted area near other people. Once you are on board, try and sit near other people and make sure you know where the emergency alarms are.
Don't be afraid to change seats or carriages if you feel unsafe, even if it seems rude to do so.
Preventing personal theft
Be aware and keep your possessions safe:
- Never leave your bags or other valuables unattended in public places
- Be discreet with your belongings; displaying expensive jewellery or electronic devices, like mobile phones or cameras, could attract unwanted attention
- The most common item stolen in a robbery is a mobile phone, so make sure you keep your phone safe. If you’re not making a call, keep your phone hidden away. Keep it in one of your front pockets or inside a bag
Safeguard your mobile phone
Having your phone stolen is a hassle. It's not just the handset you lose; it's the numbers, messages and photos too. Thieves are opportunists, so don't make yourself an easy target. Knowing how to protect your mobile and keep it safe will save you a lot of inconvenience and stress.
- If you're not making a call, make sure that your phone is hidden away
- Keep it in one of your front pockets or inside a bag
- Don't attach it to your belt or around your neck
- If you're making a call on your mobile in a public area, make sure you always keep an eye on what's going on around you
- Try to avoid using your mobile phone in public at night. If you do have to use your phone, try to find an area that's well-lit
- Avoid getting out your phone at train stations and bus stops as these are areas that thieves target
Identity fraud (also called identity theft) is when somebody pretends to be you. They may do this in order to buy things in your name and leave you and your bank with the bill. Find out how to protect your personal details and prevent identity fraud.
There are many ways that someone can steal your identity, including:
- Finding out your bank details
- Taking your passport or driving licence, or copying the details
- Copying your credit card details
- Accessing your personal information through a fraudulent website or email
- Taking junk mail that has your personal information on it
- Going through your dustbin to find receipts or other information
You may not know straight away that your identity has been stolen. It is important that you make sure to protect your details and be aware of any signs that your identity might have been stolen.
To report identity fraud or to find out more visit the Action Fraud website.
Detailed advice and guidance provided by the Association of Convenience Stores on how to prevent forecourt theft can be found on their website.