Northamptonshire Police is issuing safety advice to the public as the days get shorter and the nights get darker.
Crime Prevention Team Leader, Paul Golley said: “Darkness really is a criminal’s best friend and I would strongly encourage the public to arm themselves with the safety tips below in order to best prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime during the darker nights.
“I know we all want to get to our destinations quickly when the nights are dark and the weather is cold, but please think twice about taking that short cut and consider that adding an extra five minutes onto your journey time and staying in well-lit, busy areas may just be worth it to avoid opportunistic criminals waiting in more isolated areas.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to say that it’s a common misconception that women are the only ones that need to take extra care during the winter months. That is simply not the case. Men are also susceptible to being attacked and should also take a look at our safety tips.”
Plan ahead before you go out. Know where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and how you’ll get back. Let someone know where you’re going, and be prepared for a change of plan.
Keep your purse or wallet and keys close and secure. Only take out essential items, and if you can leave valuables at home, do.
When you’re out, always walk with purpose, and stick to well-lit, busy areas, using the route you know best.
Don’t be tempted to take short cuts that require you to stray from busy areas.
Avoid quiet or badly-let alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted.
Remain aware of your surroundings – don’t walk along texting, making a phone call or listening to music. As well as being distracting, this advertises your valuable to criminals.
Be a good friend and stay safe by sticking together. Encourage each other to avoid walking alone at night.
If you regularly walk home in the dark, get a personal attack alarm approved by Sold Secure – they are widely available and inexpensive.