Summer partygoers and end-of-year revellers have been warned that taking some basic personal and property safety precautions might be the difference between them having a great night out or one that is best forgotten.
Crime Stoppers South Australia chair, Ms Sharon Hanlon, said the festive season was a time when most people enjoy the opportunity to wind down with work colleagues, family and friends – but says a night on the town can bring the increased risk of becoming a victim of crime.
“We have seen plenty of examples where excess alcohol consumption leads to alcohol-fuelled violence, careless or reckless behaviour and risk taking, so one of the most important messages for people is to understand the need to be responsible for their own behaviour,” Ms Hanlon said.
“To help people enjoy a safe night out, Crime Stoppers SA has partnered with Police Credit Union to develop a campaign that encourages people to have heightened awareness as to potential dangers they may encounter when out, how to reduce the risk of harm, and the importance of being aware of their surroundings at all times.”
The personal safety campaign – which will be promoted using social media and through Crime Stoppers SA’s major media partner, Channel 9, will run over the Christmas and New Year period.
Some top personal safety tips for partygoers include:
- Let someone you trust know your plans to go out and when you are likely to return home
- Keep to well-lit and populated areas
- Stay with friends and look after each other
- Don’t hitchhike or accept a ride with a stranger
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay vigilant
- Avoid using earphones because they can drown out sounds around you and distract
- When meeting someone new for the first time, plan it for a public place
- Trust your instincts – if you feel unsafe then move and consider calling for help
- Have your mobile phone charged and handy
- Monitor your alcohol consumption, eat before and during partying, and consider having soft drink or water between drinks
- If you are driving then don’t drink, nominate a designated driver or have safe transport arranged before going out
- Don’t take drinks from strangers, keep control of your drinks at all times and never leave them unattended
To best protect your person property:
- Don’t carry large amounts of money and don’t show how much money you have
- If you go to an ATM, pick one that is well-lit, protect your PIN, and be careful of people standing too close.
- Ensure you remove any receipts, and place your money safely away before walking away from the ATM.
- If you lose your card, report it immediately
- Keep your bag, wallet/purse and mobile phone where you can see them at all times – don’t leave them unattended
- Always keep a bag closed and secure
- Carry your bag securely and never let the strap hang loose. Shoulder straps should be worn across the body.
- Don’t leave your bag unattended in a shopping trolley or pram, and make it the first thing to be put into the car when unloading or loading shopping items
“As a reminder to people, a number of these handy tips will be shared on the Crime Stoppers SA Facebook page, and we encourage people to play an active role in this campaign by liking and sharing the tips, and thinking about how they might use them in their own circumstances,” Ms Hanlon said.
“Ultimately, Crime Stoppers SA wants people to enjoy a safe Christmas and a Happy New Year, and our latest campaign has been designed to encourage people to have a good time with some safety tips in the back of their mind.”
If anyone has information about a crime or criminal activity, then they can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, go to crimestopperssa.com.au or download the FREE Report Suspicious Behaviour App. People can remain anonymous and rewards are available.