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Advice to keep you safe when out socialising

Most people know someone who has been a victim of crime. This shouldn’t stop you from going out, but you should be more aware and careful when you are.

Take a look at our advice on how to keep safe when you’re out socialising.

  • Cover up expensive-looking jewellery, watches etc.
  • Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards.
  • Carry your house keys in your pocket. If someone grabs your bag, let it go, do not get hurt. Your safety is more important than your property.
  • Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone who you don’t know or trust.
  • If you feel drunk, dizzy or disorientated seek help from a trusted friend or a member of bar staff.
  • Know your drinking limits. Alcohol lowers your guard and may affect your judgement and decision making.
  • Plan your journey in advance, including the journey home. Try to travel with other people you know if possible.
  • It’s important to have fun, but don’t forget to look after yourself and others. Do not go out alone - stay with your group of friends and look out for each other.
  • Make sure you have extra money in case you get stranded or miss the last bus or train.
  • Avoid shortcuts or isolated areas and if you are walking alone, carry a personal attack alarm. Carry it in your hand so you can use it immediately to scare off an attacker.
  • Stay away from confrontational situations.

What should I do if I am attacked?

Some of us fear being attacked so it is worth considering what you might do if it did happen.

If someone threatens you, shout for help and set off your personal attack alarm if you have one. This might be enough to frighten the attacker off.

However, you can use self-defence if you feel it is necessary. The law says you can use reasonable force to protect yourself, protect another person, protect your property, prevent crime or assist in the lawful arrest of a criminal. What is ‘reasonable’ in any situation will depend on the circumstances and the scale of the threat you are facing. Broadly, for force to be reasonable it must be necessary and proportionate.

Each situation is different and you will have to make that choice yourself. You should take the time to think about what you would do. Remember, you can defend yourself but it is illegal to carry an offensive weapon

If you do decide to defend yourself, be aware that your attacker may be stronger than you. It is often better to shout and run away. Call the police immediately on 999 if you feel you are in any danger - we are here to help.

You can use reasonable force in self-defence. You will have to be able to justify any action you take as reasonable, proportionate and necessary in the circumstances.

Consider taking self-defence classes to help you feel more secure.

Further advice and information

  • Spiking drinks is illegal. Read our advice on how to prevent your drink being spiked and protect yourself from harm.

    More on drink spiking