This summer remember to ‘let your hair down, not your guard’

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Personal Safety Messages support Wiltshire’s Rape Awareness Campaign

As part of the week long Rape Awareness Campaign launched on 18 July, Wiltshire Police’s Crime Reduction Officer, Amanda Clarke highlights the importance of personal safety this summer by releasing her top tips for keeping safe.

Out and about at night

The time when people are at their most vulnerable is when they have been drinking.  If you are going out for the night, plan ahead to avoid problems later in the evening.

  • Book a taxi for coming home. Wait for the driver to ask for you by name – do not ask them if they are waiting for you.
  • Keep your taxi fare separate from your evening spending money so you won’t be left stranded without the fare.
  • If you haven’t booked a cab for the trip home, only used licensed taxis, preferably from a taxi rank.
  • Keep together with your friends – there is safety in numbers.  Look out for each other.
  • Don’t leave your drinks unattended.  Carry them with you when dancing and take turns to go to the loo.
  • If you are lucky enough to have a drink bought for you, make sure you take it directly from the bar staff.
  • Recognise if you or one of your group is acting more drunk than the amount of alcohol they have consumed would warrant – we all know our reaction to alcohol and if you feel ill or drunker than you should, your drink may have been tampered with – go home straight away.
  • Know your own limits and don’t get so drunk you cannot look after yourself. If one of your friends is unable to look after themselves, step in and take care of them – hopefully they will return the favour should you ever need it.
  • Never accept a lift from a stranger.  Never go home with someone you have only just met.  And never be afraid to call for help – don’t wait until it’s too late.

General advice

  • If you are at home during the day, keep your front and back doors locked.  Remember to only answer the door to someone you know or are expecting. Use your spy hole and door chain to check.
  • At work, keep possessions such as your bag locked away or out of sight.  If you work alone, your company should have a lone worker policy that supports your safety.
  • When you are out shopping, keep your purse secure within your bag, preferably with a strap or chain, and keep your bag to the front of you. Men should keep their wallets in front pockets.
  • Park your car in a well lit busy area, especially if it may be dark when you return.

The week long campaign offers further opportunities to focus on:

  • Specific risk for under 18’s – NSPCC (21st July)
  • Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – Underline the definition of consent – ‘no means no’ and clarification of the judicial process and special measures (22 July).

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