Merton is one of the safest places to live in London and Merton Partnership Against Crime (MPAC) is working hard to make it an even safer place to be. However, many of us can be concerned for our own personal safety and whilst the chances of being attacked are small we can all take a few simple measures to keep safe & sound:
· Act confidently and be aware of your surroundings. Plan your journey ahead, walk tall and look like you know where you are going.
· If possible, avoid walking alone at night. Try to keep to well-lit main roads and avoid shortcuts through alleyways, parks or across waste ground. Walk facing the traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you unnoticed.
· Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you. Don’t listen to a personal stereo or talk on your mobile phone.
· Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to walk in. Cover up expensive looking jewellery. Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. Keep your house or car keys in your pocket. If someone grabs your bag let go – your safety is more important than your property.
· If you regularly go jogging or cycling, try to vary your route and time. Stick to well-lit roads with pavements. If in the park, keep to main paths and open spaces where you can see and be seen by other people – avoid wooded areas.
· If you think you are being followed, check by crossing the street – cross back again if necessary. If you are still worried go to the nearest place where there are other people, like a shop or pub. Call the police from here – try to avoid using a phone box.
· If you often walk home in the dark, get a personal attack alarm. You can ask your local crime prevention officer where you can buy one. Carry it in your hand so you can use it immediately to scare off an attacker. Make sure it is designed to continue sounding if it’s dropped or falls to the ground.
· It is always worth letting someone know where you are going, the route you intend to take and when you expect to return.
“If you follow this advice you can help keep yourself safe. Always follow your instincts – if you feel that something is wrong, it makes sense to take action to avoid it.” Caroline Ellis said.
Further information on crime prevention can be found at: http://www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention
Or by contacting the Crime Prevention Unit at Wimbledon Police station on 020 8649 3249