Personal Safety

Tips for personal security:

  1. Avoid walking alone at night
    Try to walk with other people at night. If alone, walk in well-lit areas or catch a taxi even if you’re only going a short distance.
  2. Protect your bag or briefcase
    Carry your bag or briefcase securely on the side furthest from the road to reduce the risk of bag-snatching. Make sure your bag is zipped up and not easily accessible.
  3. Be cautious when using ATMs
    Be alert when withdrawing cash and don’t count money in view of other people. Be cautious when using ATMs in isolated areas or dark locations.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings
    Be alert and aware of what’s going on around you. Wearing headphones, or texting/talking on your mobile can reduce your alertness and can make you more vulnerable to personal crime.
  5. Be confident and assertive
    Walking with confidence, using strong body language and making eye contact with others may reduce your risk of being targeted.
  6. Isolated areas are a risk
    Try to keep to populated areas with lots of activity whether you’re exercising, or just out and about, especially at night.
  7. Don’t carry large amounts of cash
    Never carry more cash than you need.
  8. Keep your purse or wallet secure
    Always keep your purse or wallet in a secure place close to your body, such as in an inaccessible pocket.
  9. Alcohol consumption can be a risk
    Excessive alcohol consumption may result in increased risk of danger. When leaving premises be careful on the footpath and roads and watch out for each other.
  10. Carry your mobile phone or phone card with you
    When you’re out and about, even if jogging or exercising, always carry your mobile phone with you in case of an incident.

Checklist for Personal Security:

  • Vary your routine
    Taking precautions when you’re out and about will reduce your risk of being a target for personal crime.
  • Walk in groups
    If you’re going out alone tell someone where you are going.
  • Never accept lifts
    Never accept a lift from somebody you don’t know.
  • Don’t use short cuts or back lanes
    Even though it can be tempting to save time, avoid isolated short cuts especially at night.
  • Vary your route for regular activity
    For routine activities such as exercise or walking to and from work, school or university, try to vary your route.

Take action in a crisis:

  • Secure your bag or briefcase
    At cafes, pubs or theatres, don’t put your bag on the floor, or hang it over your chair. Keep it in front of you or on your lap.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended
    Don’t leave your valuables in an unattended trolley when grocery shopping or at a table when ordering food or drinks.
  • Carry valuables securely
    Keep valuables that you carry with you to a minimum and avoid carrying them all in one bag.
  • Dealing with confrontation
    Committing to your personal safety when you’re threatened is essential.
  • Trust your instincts
    Trust your instincts when deciding the best way to respond to a threat – whether it’s to scream, run away, physically defend yourself or negotiate with your attacker. Try and assess the motives of the offender when determining your strategy.
  • Attract attention
    Attract attention if possible – offenders don’t want to be caught in the act. Scream for assistance and call out ‘Help’.
  • Don’t put up a fight for your belongings
    Your safety is more important than your belongings. If an offender wants your bag, wallet or money, hand them over.
  • Remove yourself from the threat
    If possible, run away or use reasonable force to remove yourself from danger.
  • Don’t give up
    If one strategy doesn’t work, keep trying different ones. This sends the message to an offender that you are not vulnerable or an easy target.
  • Being followed
    If you think you’re being followed, go to the nearest police station or occupied place.
  • Call for help
    If nobody else is around, try to call for help on your mobile phone.
  • Ignore verbal harassment
    In cases involving verbal harassment, ignore it and move on. If you’re alone, head straight to the nearest police station or occupied area.

Help and assist:

Assisting others in need is essential.

  • Respond to calls for assistance
    Responding to a call for help is essential. Don’t just assume someone else will help. Giving assistance may prevent an assault or violent crime and/or suspicious activity, but make sure you don’t put yourself at risk by doing so.
  • Call the police
    Always call Triple Zero (000) for police assistance in case of a life threatening or time critical emergency.
  • Report crime
    All personal crime or suspicious activity should be reported directly to your local police station or the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.