Although most of us in the UK would like to think that the towns or cities that we live in are completely safe, there is always a risk of street crime and robbery in any area. One of the most common crimes is mugging or street robbery.
You might like to think that it will never happen to you, but street robbery can happen to anybody and it can occur in the daytime or at night when it gets darker. For this reason, it’s important to stay alert at all times when you’re walking outside and be conscious of your personal safety. This is particularly important if you live in an area that has a high crime rate or if you’re visiting one of these areas.
So, how can you ensure that you stay safe and avoid being mugged whilst you’re walking down the street? Here are some top tips to keep in mind.
1. Carry a Personal Safety Alarm
Personal safety alarms or small devices that you can carry in your bag or around your neck. If you want to minimise your chances of being mugged in the streets, wear a personal safety alarm around your neck and make sure that it is visible to those around you. This acts as a deterrent for potential robbers because they know help is just minutes away.
Personal safety alarms work by a small button that when activated, will emit a loud 130dB siren and flashing strobe light. Therefore, if you are attacked or mugged in the streets, you can get help almost immediately as it will raise the alarm - they also work well as a deterent.
2. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Being vigilant at all times whilst you are walking in the street is important wherever you are. By keeping your eyes up and your ears open, you will be able to spot a suspicious-looking individual nearby. From here, you can quickly change your path or seek the safety of others before anything negative happens.
If possible, leave your headphones at home and keep your mobile phone in your bag so that you are not distracted. It’s important that you stay aware of everything that is going on around you to maximise your safety.
3. Put the Valuables Away
You are much more likely to be attacked if you appear to have a lot of valuables on your person.
If you are walking whilst texting your friends, a robber might target you because they want to steal your smartphone. If you are walking around with some very expensive jewellery around your neck or on your wrist, you’re more likely to be mugged for your valuables.
Keep your phone tucked away in your bag at all times whilst you are outside. If you need to text your friend, stop for a moment somewhere safe or go into a nearby cafe for a few minutes until you’ve finished responding to them.
If you are wearing an expensive watch, hide it under your sleeve or put it away in your bag until you reach your destination.
The step may sound over the top and unnecessary, but you want to make yourself as small of a target as possible for street robbers.
4. Avoid Dark Streets
This is probably one of the more obvious tips but it’s an extremely important one nonetheless.
Every town has streets that have no overhead lighting and seem to be eerily quiet. These are the streets that you want to avoid in order to stay as safe as possible.
When you are walking anywhere alone or in a small group, make sure you stick to the streets that are well lit. As the evening starts to get dark during the winter, try to take public transport to and from your destination, or get a lift from your friend if you do not drive yourself.
If there are any dark alleys on your walk home that are unavoidable, wear reflective or high visibility clothing so that you can easily be spotted by those around you and can revive help as quickly as possible if you are mugged.
5. Stick to the Route You Know
If you are walking around your hometown or city, stick to the routes that you know best. Walk down the street that you know is well lit and fairly busy.
Travelling in groups that you know well also avoids you getting lost and ending up in the darker, potentially dangerous areas of town.
If you are in an unfamiliar location, plan out your route beforehand and take written instructions or a map with you so you don’t get lost.
Make sure you do your research and double-check that this particular route is safe and secure. This research can involve making a few searches on mine or asking the locals for that advice on which route is the safest.
6. Look Around
It’s easy to end up staring at the sky in a daydream or looking down at the floor in deep thought when you are walking on your own. However, doing so makes you more vulnerable to a street robbery because you are not paying attention to what is going on around you.
Make sure to keep your eyes open and constantly look around the area that you are walking in. Look behind you regularly to ensure that nobody is following you or acting suspiciously. Stay alert to avoid the dangers of being mugged.
If you do spot somebody who looks threatening or suspicious, turn around, cross the road, or find a public building to seek refuge until you are sure they have gone.
Be careful when you turn around corners as you will have no idea whether or not there is a mugger waiting on the other side.
Make sure to follow the above tips whenever you are walking somewhere on your own or in a small group.
Street muggers are, unfortunately, everywhere and there is always a risk of being robbed when you’re walking down the street. However, following these tips will minimise your chances of being attacked so you can feel safe and secure as you are out in public.