General safety tips
Here are some tips to follow if you are out and about:
- Stay alert – awareness is your best defence.
- Leave venues with friends wherever possible.
- Try to stay in well-lit areas.
- Be confident – even if you don’t feel it.
- Take the most direct route and try to stay within areas where other people are around.
- Have your keys available when you reach your home or car.
- Keep money for taxis – the expense is worth it.
- Carry a personal alarm and use it when necessary.
- Trust your instincts – if you think something is wrong, call 999 for emergency or 101 for non-emergency support.
If you are a victim
In an emergency, dial 999. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, you can also text 999.
- Make as much noise as you can to alert people. Point out characteristics of people when asking for help, for example you in the green shirt please help.
- As soon as you can, go somewhere you know is safe.
- If you have been attacked, don’t shower or change your clothes as it may destroy evidence.
- If you have the confidence, tell the police why you think you were attacked.
- If you have had your keys taken, ensure you change the locks.
- Don’t drink alcohol – you need to give a clear account of what happened.
- Use the reporting systems to report the incident if you do not have the confidence to tell the police.
- After you are in a safe environment, make sure you report the incident.
If you are a witness
- In an emergency dial 999 or if you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment text 999.
- Let the police know what you’ve seen. Don’t assume others will come forward. Many crucial witnesses walk away thinking someone else will report it.
- Stay alert and safe.
- Don’t physically intervene – you could get hurt yourself.
- If it is safe to do so, take a photograph or video on your mobile phone. Remember, however, that the police are likely to need your phone as evidence.
- Record details of times, number plates, descriptions and so on. If you don’t have a pen with you, leave a voicemail message on your mobile phone or write a draft text message. As soon as you can find a pen and paper, write down the information in as much detail as possible.
- Make sure you report the incident. There are a number of ways you can do this.
Internet safety tips
- Do not give out personal details, photographs, or any other information that could be used to identify you, your family, or where you live.
- Do not take other people at face value – they may not be what they seem.
- Never arrange to meet someone you’ve only ever previously met on the internet, without telling a friend and giving them as much detail as possible about the person that you’re meeting and where.
- Do not open an attachment or download a file unless you know and trust the person who has sent it.
Prejudice Free Dorset (PFD) is a partnership group made up of local agencies that seeks to promote inclusive communities across Dorset.