Recent public concern over safety on the streets has triggered some dramatic scenes, as well as some highly charged debate in the news and on social media. At the TRIP Group we take personal safety and security very seriously, so we have put together some simple techniques from our Travel Safety & Security course that anyone can use to help stay safe.
- Situational awareness – Being actively aware of your surroundings, the potential dangers and what you can do to avoid them is something we can all practice. Actively scan your environment and if you identify something that could cause you harm, take evasive action.
- Vary your route and your routine – Sticking to the same routine makes you predictable and therefore easy to target. Try varying the time you leave and arrive and consider taking alternative routes to your destination.
- Footwear – Wear shoes that will allow you to get away from danger quickly. Trainers/sneakers are ideal and could make a real difference to your safety. You can always carry your smart shoes in a bag.
- Put your phone away – If you’re staring at your screen, on a call, or listening to music, you can’t be situationally aware. Keep your senses on alert.
- Identify safe havens – Identify places of safety you can get to if you feel threatened. This could be a police station, a bank, shop, hotel or even place of worship.
- Strength in numbers – If possible, go out with a friend, or in a group. If you are alone and feel threatened, don’t be afraid to ask others for help.
- Use tech to your advantage – There are many apps, which can track your journey and send alerts to friends and family if you are in danger. Have a look at One Scream, bsafe, Life 360 as examples of what’s available.
- Sound and Light – Consider carrying a personal alarm. Some of the better ones reach 140 decibels, which will certainly attract attention. Also consider carrying a tactical flashlight, which produces between 800 and 1000 lumens of bright light. It might just disorientate someone long enough for you to get away.
- Run – Self-defence is great if you are well practiced at using it, but the best defence is often to run away from potential harm. Run as soon as you feel threatened and as quickly as you can. Don’t wait for a situation to develop.
- Trust your gut instinct – If a situation feels wrong, act to change it immediately. Too often warning signs are ignored. There’s a reason the hairs on the back of our neck go up, or we get a sense that something is wrong. This is not the time to analyse or hope things will improve. Get to a place of safety as soon as you feel uncomfortable.
For more information on how to stay safe on the streets, or to book a safety and security course, contact the Travel Risk & Incident Prevention (TRIP) Group by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0333 939 0024.