|Bricket Wood Neighbourhood Watch
- Walk Confidently and look as if you know
where you are going. Having a firm step and an assertive
bearing may well deter an attacker.
- If a car pulls up next to you containing
more than one man don't stop to speak to them. Just walk
- If a male driver stops and you feel he is
merely asking directions, keep a distance between you and
the car when answering him, but ensure that you keep the
car door between you and him. Make him talk to you.
- Walk on the side of the street which
allows you to face oncoming traffic. If a male driver
accosts you, you can then run away in the opposite
direction to which he is travelling. This gives you time!
He either has to drive away from you, do a three-point
turn, or reverse. All are difficult for him.
- Keep on the edge on the pavement nearest
to the road and think ahead. If there is a dark patch of
shrubbery etc., ahead, cross the road until you are
safely past it.
- Never accept a lift home with a stranger
or slight acquaintance.
- Always carry a torch and use it to
illuminate dark areas ahead of you.
- Whenever possible walk home with a friend.
Two people are much harder to attack than one, and if you
are attacked one can get away to summon help.
- Never take a route home which leads
through a park or unlit alley, car park, or school yard
etc. Even if it takes longer, keep to well lit roads.
- If you are being followed, always go to a
house with lights on and ask for help. Better to look a
fool than to carry on walking and be accosted!
- Be on the alert. If you hear footsteps
behind you, turn and find out who it is before he reaches
you. If he is contemplating an attack the fact that you
have seen him could be enough to make him turn away and
leave you alone.
- Wearing a personal stereo takes away your
ability to hear such things.
- Handheld alarms available. Carry one in
your hand, not in your pocket or handbag. Always carry
the alarm when you think you are in a vulnerable
situation. Buy the type which 'locks on' when you press
the trigger or one that has a pin that is pulled out by a
wrist-strap. With these types the high pitched screech
will continue even it the alarm is knocked out of your
- Remember that you can always dial the
emergency number (999 or 112) from a mobile telephone
even when its keypad is locked.
- Do not hitchhike and always make
arrangements to be accompanied home by someone you know
well. The attack on the lone woman which succeeds is
usually because she is off guard.
- When travelling by bus avoid isolated
bus-stops, as a woman on her own can be vulnerable.
Always use the lower deck. If there is a choice, sit next
to another woman rather than a man.
- When travelling by train try to choose a
compartment which contains other women. Avoid empty
compartments, or compartments with only men in them.
- When travelling by tube follow the advice
given for 'trains' as above. At night try to use other
forms of transport.
- Always use the main escalators and
walkways; never use the deserted areas. If necessary,
wait in a well lit area until another woman or a group of
people appear, and then walk with them to your required
- If you have to travel by tube or train and
are arriving when it is dark, try to arrange to be met at
If you need a safe and reliable chauffeur
driven car service then we can recommend: Dove Executive Car Service.
- When you get into your car, lock the
doors, put your handbag or wallet under the seat and put
on your seat belt. If you have to stop at traffic lights
or at a junction with heavy traffic, a man cannot just
open your car and get in if the doors are locked. You
simply drive away.
- If you believe your car is being followed
then don't go home. Drive to a place that you know is
safe, such as a police station or a 24hour Garage, and
ask for assistance. If you are afraid to get out of your
car on arrival, simply sound your horn repeatedly You
will quickly draw attention to your car!
- If you see someone in need of help whilst
you are out in your car, don't leave your vehicle until
you are satisfied that it is a genuine emergency.
- When driving alone don't under any
circumstances give hitchhikers a lift. It could happen
that you stop for a girl hitchhiker and then find that a
man also appears suddenly. Drive off and leave them both.
It may embarrass you but remember that you cannot watch
her in the front seat, him in the back and the road all
at the same time.
- Before making a car journey ascertain
details of your destination and its location so that you
do not have to stop and ask for directions from
- Keep your headlights on when opening your
garage doors at night. This may help you to see if there
is anyone lurking in the vicinity.
- When parking the car always aim to place
the car under a light, whether in the street or in a car
- Never leave valuables on view in your car.
Always put them in the boot out of sight.
- Never leave your keys in the ignition,
even if you are only popping into a shop for a few
seconds. Always lock the car and take the keys with you.
- During the hours of darkness always carry
a torch with you and check the rear seats before entering
- When you arrive home get out your house
keys before you get out of your car. You can then avoid
having to stand around in the dark searching for your
keys in your handbag!
- When returning to your car during the
hours of darkness, always have your car keys ready in
your hand so that you can make a quick entry in to your
car (after checking the interior with your torch!)
- Police Officers find that one of the best
deterrents to having your car stolen is to have the
Registration Number etched on the car windows.
- It is best to include a torch and hand
alarm in your car emergency kit. Then if you do breakdown
during the hours of darkness you can light your way and
feel as confident as possible by carrying the alarm. If
you have a mobile telephone then remember to take it with
you. You can always dial the emergency number (999 or
112) even when its keypad is locked.
Also see advice on Road Rage.
- Never open your house door automatically
to a caller. Use a door chain which should be kept in
place until you have identified the caller or until they
have left the premises. Always ask callers to identify
themselves before you admit them to your home.
- Install and use a door viewer. It is
invaluable for letting you know who is calling on you,
and identifying them visually.
- If your name is on your door/bell/mailbox
make sure it is just says 'BROWN, S'
and not 'MRS S BROWN'.
This intimates that you could be a woman living alone.
- Remember the the caller may address you by
name and make you think that he/she knows you.
- Do not give keys to workmen so that they
can gain admittance when you are away from your home.
- Never admit 'Officials' without properly
identifying them. Most large companies (ie British
Telecom, Eastern Gas, Eastern Electricity, double glazing
companies, etc.) issue their representatives with
identification cards. If they have not made a specific
appointment or you are not satisfied that they are
genuine, close the door on them and telephone the company
they say they represent. No legitimate company will
object to your following this procedure.
- If someone you do not know calls at your
home, do not be taken in by such stories as:
- 'My car's broken
down. May I use your phone?'
- 'I feel a
bit faint. May I have some water?'
- 'Our puppy
has strayed into your back garden; can we look for
- (a) (Car breakdown):
Shut the door and make the phone call for them.
- (b) (Feeling faint):
Shut the door, get them a glass of water, and give it
to them while they are outside.
- (c) (Puppy): Shut the
door and give them permission to search the garden,
but make sure that your house is secure. Remember
that while one person is in the garden with you
searching for the puppy, the other may well be in
your house, ransacking it!
- Keep the back door locked as someone may
try and enter that way while you are attending to the
caller at the front door.
- If you are selling your home then make
arrangements with the Estate Agent for viewing to be by
appointment only. Refuse entry to casual callers. lf you
will be on your own, always ask the Agent to send a
representative with the viewers.
- Fit a bright light outside and use it when
- Don't answer the telephone with your
telephone number. If the caller claims to have called a
wrong number, ask him to tell you the required number.
Then just tell him that he has a wrong number, and put
the phone down.
- If you do receive an indecent phone call
don't keep him talking: that's just what he wants! Either
slam the receiver down or give him a good blast from your
hand alarm or a whistle.
- Another answer is to 'call to your husband
to the phone' even if you are alone (he won't want to
speak to a man!) in any event, always let the police
- If you live alone always have the
telephone directory entry read 'BROWN, S'
and not 'BROWN Sheila'
or 'BROWN, Mrs S' You don't
want to advertise the fact that you are a woman who
probably lives alone; you could invite indecent telephone
calls or unwanted visitors. Ask your telephone service
provider to amend your entry as necessary.
- When going on holiday always remember to
cancel the milk and newspapers before you go. Give as
much notice as possible for cancellation of orders. Your
newsagent will always keep magazines for you at the shop
until you return.
- Always ask a trusted neighbour to keep an
eye on your house while you are away.
- Call at your local Police Station and fill
out a holiday form. This includes details of your holiday
address and a good neighbour who is either keeping an eye
on your house or has a key.
- Ask your neighbours to leave a different
light on in your house at different times to give the
impression that the house is occupied. You can do the
same for them when they go away.
Last revised: 03 April 2005