Safety & Security
Feeling safe and confident helps us to stay mobile and makes it easier to enjoy community life and recreational activities. The following list offers a range of sensible strategies to help make your outings safe and enjoyable. Choose those tips which best suit your lifestyle and comfort.
- Before leaving home, take time to lock up carefully.
- Take only what you need with you.
- Avoid short-cuts that would take you through isolated areas, especially at night.
- If you think you are being followed or in danger of being confronted:
- cross the street
- try and get the attention of people nearby - shout as loudly as you can
- seek help at the nearest house, shop or busy public place
- If possible, take note of what the offender looks like and, if a vehicle is involved, take note of its registration number. Call the police with this information if you have access to a telephone.
- If you are confronted by someone who is trying to take your bag, give it to them. This may go against all your instincts, but remember that no amount of money or inconvenience is worth personal injury.
- Carry a mobile phone or change for a telephone call.
- Carry your handbag in front of your body and keep your wallet separate in a pocket or a money belt.
- Keep your bag with you at all times and avoid carrying or leaving your bag on a shopping trolley, at your feet in public places or on the hook of the door in a public toilet or change room.
- When using an ATM (automatic teller machine), don't let people see where you put money in your bag or wallet and make sure the ATM is in public view where you can be seen by other people.
When driving or on public transport
- If you are going somewhere unfamiliar, plan your route carefully in advance.
- Avoid travelling on isolated roads, especially at night.
- Ensure your car is in good condition and has plenty of oil, petrol and water.
- Never pick up a hitchhiker.
- Park your car in well lit areas and don't leave valuables inside.
- Have your keys ready before you walk to your car.
- To reduce waiting times, know the bus or train timetable. For South East Queensland information, phone TransLink on 13 12 30 (TTY 13 36 77) or find the link to the TransLink website below.
- When waiting at the bus stop or train station, stand with other people if possible.
- If the bus or train is empty, or nearly empty, sit near the bus driver or the train driver.
Being safe and securing your home
- Use a peephole, door chain or a window to see who's at the door before opening it.
- Open your door only to people you know and trust.
- If someone is at the door and you are alone and feeling insecure, pretend there is someone else in the house (preferably a male).
- Don't give your name, phone number, address to unknown telephone callers.
- Make sure your house number is easy to see from the street both day and night.
- Trim bushes and trees that obscure windows and could be used as hiding places by intruders.
- Consider installing sensor lights that turn on when you come home at night.
- Have valuables engraved - contact your local police station for details.
- Consider keeping a dog.
- Plan at least two escape routes so you can leave your home quickly in an emergency.
- Store emergency numbers in the speed dials of your phone, or keep them written beside your phone.
If there's an intruder
- If you're at home and find an intruder, you could:
- activate the burglar alarm
- get to the nearest phone and quietly call the police
- switch on lights and make a lot of noise moving about, but do not confront the intruder
- If the intruder confronts you, shout and scream if you believe this noise might be heard by a neighbour.
- If you arrive home and suspect an intruder is inside, do not enter the house. Go to a neighbour's house and call the police on Triple Zero (000). Keep out of sight and a safe distance from the house.
This information has been sourced from the handbook Confident, Safe & Secure Living in Queensland (Queensland Government, 2006).
For further information or to obtain a copy the handbook, phone 07 5581 6642 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.