Tips for keeping safe

This page gives you tips on keeping safe, and provides useful advice on what to do if you experience or witness hate crime.

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.

About PFD

Prejudice Free Dorset (PFD) is a partnership group made up of local agencies that seeks to promote inclusive communities across Dorset.

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