Personal

In addition to the work of the Police, there are many things you can do yourself to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime. Taking simple precautions and planning ahead will help you stay safe on the streets of Cleveland.

Violence is not as prevalent as the media might suggest. Statistically you are still more likely to be subject of violence from someone you know than from a stranger on the street. Personal Safety is not just an issue for women - evidence suggests that 'stranger' violence affects men more than women.
 
Fear of attack is often far greater than the actual risk, but there are simple measures which everyone can take to help protect themselves. Make yourself aware and responsible for your personal safety - keep yourself safe.

When walking and jogging:

  • Never hitchhike.
  • Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially after dark.
  • Avoid short cuts and deserted areas; try to keep to well-lit busy streets.
  • After dark avoid areas where someone could hide.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, and avoid using personal stereos or radios.
  • Don't wear a lot of jewellery, no matter how inexpensive, a potential thief might not be able to see the difference.
  • Carry your bag close to your body, if possible with the opening towards your body.
  • Don't be flash with your cash or mobile phones. Keep their use discreet and put them away after use.
  • Have your keys at hand and easily accessible.
  • Consider carrying a personal attack alarm.
  • Make sure mobile phone is fully charged.
  • Remember 101 is a free number from call boxes. In an emergency always call 999. 

When travelling on public transport

  • Plan your route
  • You are safest when you stay in busy public places.
  • Wait in well lit areas, preferably where there is a group of people
  • Sit near other people or officials / staff if you are travelling alone
  • Move away from people who make you feel uncomfortable
  • Don't advertise your valuables in public, such as phones and jewellery.
  • Take care in crowds. Make sure bags and pockets are not open to pick-pockets and thieves.

When driving

  • Maintain your car in good condition and have plenty of fuel for your journey
  • Keep doors locked
  • Keep valuables out of sight
  • Park in well lit or busy areas.
  • Use car parks that are accredited by the police Safer Parking Scheme that display Park Mark signs.
  • Don't give lifts or accept lifts from strangers
  • Don't drink and drive
  • Don't use a mobile phone when you are driving

On a Night Out:

  • Think ahead - consider how you are going to get home. What about pre-booking a taxi or arranging a lift with a friend or family member?
  • Make sure that you stay with your party and that someone knows where you are at all times. 
  • Where possible, don't walk home alone. 
  • Steer clear of trouble - if you see any trouble or suspect that it might be about to start, alert the police and keep away.
  • Walk with confidence and be wary of casual requests from strangers, like someone asking for a cigarette or change. 
  • Avoid carrying your wallet in your back trouser pocket.

Keeping your Mobile Phone Safe:

  • Mark your phone with indelible pen, including the battery and the battery cover. 
  • Use a pin number to prevent your phone from being used if it is stolen.
  • Before you go out, consider whether you really need to take your mobile phone.
  • Do not wear your phone on a belt clip; ensure that it cannot be seen.
  • Think about your surroundings before using your phone; try not to attract too much attention.
  • When in public areas switch your phone to vibrate mode so it does not attract attention if it rings
  • Keep a note of the international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number and the number of your service provider in case the worst happens. On the keypad enter *#06# your IMEI number will display.
  • Download location apps that allow you to find your phone if stolen.
  • Register your mobile phone with https://www.immobilise.com/index.php

Keeping your Credit Card / Debit Card Safe:

  • Don't let your card out of your sight. Guard your card when making a transaction
  • Carefully discard receipts from card transactions to prevent others from acquiring information about you and your cards.
  • Check your receipts against your statements and if you find an unfamiliar transaction contact your card issuer immediately.
  • Never write down your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and never disclose it to anyone, even if they claim to be from your card issuer or the police
  • Report lost or stolen cards to your card issuer immediately. The 24-hour emergency number is on your last statement or call directory enquiries 
  • Sign any new cards as soon as they arrive.
  • Ensure that you cut up the old cards as soon as the new ones become valid.
  • Don't keep your chequebook with your cards.
  • Never leave cards unattended and keep your bag or briefcase on your lap when using public transport
  • At work keep your bag and other personal belongings locked in a cupboard or drawer.

When using a cash machine:

  • Always use a machine in a well lit location.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Shield your Personal Identity Number (PIN) from people near you.
  • Only key in your PIN when prompted by the cash machine. 
  • Never tell anybody your PIN - not even the bank or the police. 
  • Never accept help from strangers at the cash machine
  • Cancel your card immediately if it is retained by the cash machine, lost or stolen. 
  • DO NOT write down your PIN and keep it with your card.