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    Q481: Can you give me any advice about personal safety whilst out shopping?

    Listed below are a few points which will help to ensure you and your belongings are safe:

    • Keep bags closed and secure at all times.
    • Conceal your wallet or purse in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn't bulge.
    • Avoid putting valuables such as phones, wallets or purses in your back pocket.
    • Do not carry large amounts of cash with you when shopping.
    • Keep pin numbers secure, do not write them down.
    • If the fastening of your handbag is on the side, keep the side with the fastening closest to your body and not exposed.
    • Rucksack type bags with the opening on the back are not a good place to keep valuables as they are easily opened.
    • Keep your purse or wallet at the bottom of your bag.
    • Do not carry too many bags of shopping as it makes you vulnerable against pick pockets.
    • Do not hang bags on the back of a chair.

    Here are some general personal safety tips to follow when you are out and about:

    • Do not walk home alone late at night. If you do, choose well-lit main roads and walk confidently.
    • If someone does grab your bag fighting back is not always a good idea, you do not know if your attacker has a weapon.
    • Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Reading or listening to music can be distracting.
    • In a busy public place, try to only use your mobile phone in an emergency as it is advertising the fact that you have a phone, and whilst using it you may be distracted, making it easier to take it from you.
    • Carry a personal safety alarm.
    • If you are worried or threatened on public transport, contact the guard or the British Transport Police.
    • If you are attacked it is often better to shout 'fire' rather than 'help', it tends to attract more attention.

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