Young people can be the victims of crime like anyone else. It's makes sense to do everything you can to protect yourself and your property.
Protecting yourself when you're out and about
If you’re under 16 and still living at home, your mum and dad are responsible for your safety, but there are things you can do to keep yourself safe.
Don’t leave home without telling someone where you're going, who you are with and when you expect to be back. If your plans change while you are out, it’s best to tell your parents as soon as you can. Always have enough money to make a telephone call with you or if you take your mobile, make sure there's enough credit on it to phone home.
If you're babysitting, it should be for someone you know or someone you know of through a friend. Make sure you know how you're getting home and make any necessary arrangements beforehand.
In an emergency, if you can't find a police officer, try to find a family group (a mum with young children, for example) and ask them for help.
If you're going out with your partner or with your friends, plan your evening. Arrange to meet people in well lit places and where there other people are around. Have telephone numbers to hand and agree in advance how many minutes you'll wait for them.
Cover up your jewellery when you’re outside if you can.
Store your mobile phone in a bag or secure pocket. If your mobile is lost or stolen while you're out, call your network, service provider or the Immobilise initiative on 08701 123 123 and explain what's happened to your phone. Your network can deactivate your SIM card to prevent unauthorized calls being made and share details about your phone with other networks, so even if the SIM card has been changed, the handset will no longer work.
If you need to use a cash machine, have a friend with you and stay alert to who's behind you in the queue or hanging around nearby. Put your money in a safe place before you leave the cash machine.
If it comes to someone snatching your bag or your phone, let them have it. Don't risk getting hurt - your safety is worth more than your property.
Protecting yourself at home
If you're home alone, lock the front door and secure the windows. After dark, draw the curtains and turn some other lights on. Never answer the phone with your name or number and never give personal details to anyone you don't know.
Protecting yourself on-line
Many young people use the internet and other electronic devices almost every day - so staying safe on-line is very important. But it's not just on the internet where you need to take care. Text messages, e-mails and mobile phones with cameras can be used for cyber bullying or for unwanted attention.
If you're heading to your night on foot, choose well-lit routes. It's not a good idea to walk home at the end of the night, but if you have to, walk home with a friend and keep to well-lit streets, avoiding shortcuts and alleyways.
If you're travelling on public transport, wait for buses at well-lit bus stops and sit on the lower decks of busses near the driver. Don't travel on empty trains but keep away from rowdy groups. If you're worried about someone who makes you feel uneasy, change carriages at the next station.
Keep your belongings safe and hidden, especially on busy busses and trains.
Try to organise a lift home with your parents or responsible friends. If you need a taxi, pre-book with a reputable company before you go out, especially on busy nights and try to travel with a friend. Never wave down a minicab in the street or accept a lift from a stranger.
Protecting your possessions
Most thieves are opportunists so don't make things easy for them. Keep your bags and valuables close to you when you're out. Make sure you can see your coat or jacket and don't leave any valuables in it when you hang it up in a public place. Use your mobile in public only when it's absolutely necessary and keep it safely hidden when it's not being used.
Locking doors and windows when you go out won’t always stop you being burgled, but it will make it more difficult for a thief to enter your property. Hide your valuables away in your home, especially in a high crime area.
For further information
If you are worried about your own safety, you can report a crime anonymously on the Crimestoppers website or by calling the national helpline on Freephone 0800 555 111. They won't ask for your name and no-one will ever know you called. You will never have to give a statement or go to court. The service is completely anonymous and confidential.
There are many ways of keeping yourself safe and minimising the risks to your personal safety, but if you do become a victim of crime, there is help available. Contact the national Victim Support Helpline on Telephone 0845 30 30 900. The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, 9am-7pm at weekends and 9am-5pm on Bank Holidays.
Suzy Lamplugh Trust provides practical support and personal safety guidance.