Safety and Personal Protection
Staying safe and looking out for your friends is really important.
Here are a few basic tips for when you're out and about:
- When walking on the street, stay alert to what's happening around you. Look confident and try to walk home at night with a friend - if you can't, try to make sure someone knows where you are and when you'll be back.
- If you can, try to carry some change and enough money for a taxi. Pre-order a taxi, rather than flagging one down and if you are female and alone give your surname only when you book it. Use reputable firms. When your taxi arrives, check that the name on the side of the car is the name of the firm you booked with and that the driver asks for you by name.
- Check that the taxi has a Bristol City Council registration plate (near to the number plate). Don't be afraid of noting it down if you want to. Never, ever, get into a car that claims to be a taxi but doesn't have a taxi registration plate. Don't get into a taxi if you feel uneasy about it.
- Walk on the side of the street that faces the traffic. Try to walk in the middle of the pavement and avoid short cuts that take you to dark or quieter places - like parks and alleyways. If you think you're being followed, cross the road and change your pace. If the person stays with you then try to get to the nearest busy place or the nearest well-lit house and ask for help.
- If you see someone being harassed or attacked, make lots of noise to draw other peoples' attention to what is happening and frighten off the attacker. If you have a personal alarm, use it.
- Have your keys ready when you're coming up to your home.
- If you drive: avoid isolated car parks; make sure that you have enough petrol to get home; keep your doors and windows locked when in your car alone at night and have your keys ready when walking up to your car.
- If you are a cyclist, avoid dark and badly lit routes at night and remember to lock your bike somewhere well lit and secure when you leave it.
- Beware of scams: sometimes you might receive texts, emails or a phone call from people pretending to be someone they aren't (e.g. Student Loans Company, your bank). Be vigilant - these are usually scams from people trying to steal your money. They may appear genuine if they have some personal information about you.
- Never give out your personal details, log-in details, passwords or bank account details via email or over the phone, or confirm that any details they already have are correct.
- Never transfer money to an account that you don’t recognise.
- Never click on any links, open attachments or reply to a suspicious email.
- If you’re unsure if a phone call is genuine, hang up and tell them you will call them back. Look up a number you’ve found from a reputable source (official letter, official website) rather than using a number that they give you.