There are sensible precautions everybody can take to ensure their general safety whilst out and about:

= Stay alert: be aware of what’s going on around you.

= Think ahead and plan your journey, avoiding deserted areas.

= Avoid carrying valuables if you don’t need them. = Avoid walking alone at night, and keep to well-lit main roads where possible.

= Avoid short cuts like alleyways, waste ground and wooded, bushy areas.. If you do walk through a park ensure you stay on well-lit, main paths where there are other people around.

= If you regularly go jogging or cycling, try to vary your route and time.

= It is always worth letting someone know where you are going, the route you intend to take and when you expect to return.

= Try to avoid wearing headphones – your ability to hear traffic, strangers or potential trouble is severely restricted.

= Be vigilant, if you are using your mobile phone stay alert to those around you.

= If you have a personal attack alarm it should be carried in your hand to use immediately if necessary.

= If you think someone is following you, check by varying your route – more than once if necessary – to see if the person follows. If you are still worried, get to the nearest place where there are other people and call the police.