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Safety when you're out and about

Out walking

  • Stick to well-lit, busy roads and plan your route before you go.
  • Keep your bag close to you and don't put everything in it. For example, keep your keys and mobile in an inside coat pocket.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Don't carry large sums of money.
  • Before you use a cash machine, check that no one's hovering behind you.
  • If you use a wheelchair, keep your belongings beside you rather than hanging them on the back of the chair.
  • If you think you're being followed, keep moving and head for a busy area. Tell someone what's happening or call the police.
  • Keep your bag in sight all the time
  • Consider carrying a personal alarm.
  • If someone tries to snatch your bag, it may be best to let them take it rather than trying to fight back.

On public transport

  • Try to wait for public transport in busy, well-lit areas.
  • Sit near other people or close to the driver or conductor.
  • If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, change places.

In taxis

  • Keep the number of a reliable, licensed taxi company handy.
  • Find a company you trust and feel comfortable with and use it each time.
  • Check the taxi that arrives is the one you ordered before you get in.
  • Ask the driver to tell you the name of the person who booked it.
  • If you feel uneasy, ask to be dropped off somewhere you know that is busy and well-lit.

When you're driving

  • Make sure you have enough petrol.
  • Plan your route in advance and tell somebody where you are going.
  • Park in busy well-lit areas. If you park in the daylight, think about what the area will be like after dark.
  • Don't leave anything on display, lock any items in the boot.
  • While driving, keep valuables out of sight.
  • Think about what you would do if you broke down. Do you carry a mobile phone to use in an emergency? If it's cold, it's a good idea to have a blanket and some warm clothes in case you have to wait for help.
  • Consider joining a roadside assistance scheme. Prices vary, so shop around and check price comparison websites to get the best deal.

Keeping your mobile phone secure

If you have a mobile phone, it's worth taking steps to prevent it from being stolen and to protect yourself if it does get stolen.

Ask your mobile phone provider for your registration number (IMEI). Or get it by typing in *#06# on your mobile phone keypad - your IMEI number will appear on your screen.

Store this and your mobile phone number in a safe place so that you can give the details to your network and the police if your phone is stolen.

  • Avoid using your phone in crowded places where you feel unsafe.
  • Don't leave it unattended.
  • If you phone is stolen, report it to your network and the police as soon as possible so that it can be cancelled.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081

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