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Safety Whilst Out Walking

Appearing confident is one of the best ways of staying safe when out and about on foot.

It's a fact that confident people are less likely to be mugged or assaulted, so when you're walking alone try to look alert and walk tall.

Of course, the secret to being confident is feeling safe in the first place. So be aware of your surroundings, plan where you're going and how you're going to get there. It's also worth letting other people know where you're going and when you expect to get back - if you change your plans remember to let them know.

Although confidence is hugely important, don't think that "it'll never happen to me". Attacks on people are extremely rare, but it's worth being prepared just in case, and being prepared will actually make you feel more confident anyway.

If you're planning any journey on foot, even just a short walk, plan your route in advance so that you don't appear lost. Carry a mobile phone with you, and have useful numbers programmed into your phone for speedy access.

Carry a personal attack alarm. Again, having one with you will make you feel more confident. Stick to busy, well-lit places. Avoid underpasses or shortcuts unless the lighting is good and you're confident they are safe. Try avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar territory.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to move in. Carry your bag slung across your body with any zips or openings on the inside. Walk facing oncoming traffic. If you have to walk in the same direction as traffic and a car stops, turn around and walk the other way so the car cannot follow you.

If you think you're being followed on foot, cross a road and keep walking. If you still think you're being followed make for somewhere busy and well lit. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Reference: www.bbc.co.uk/crime/prevention/walking.shtml