Feeling Unsafe In Public Spaces? 6 Tips To Stay Vigilant

Feeling Unsafe In Public Spaces? 6 Tips To Stay Vigilant

How aware of your surroundings are you when you are in public spaces? It’s crucial to improve your safety and become less vulnerable as a potential target for perpetrators. Read on to learn how to navigate feeling unsafe in public spaces with our 6 tips to stay vigilant.

Remain Aware of Surroundings

Being familiar with your surroundings can help keep you safe. If you have to walk in public spaces, keep a mental note of who’s next to you, following you and where you can run if you feel threatened. Situational awareness is an excellent way to recognise if you might be in danger, even if there’s no active threat.

Here are helpful tips to ensure you remain aware of your surroundings:

  • Notice where exits are and where you can go for help.
  • Imagine how you can deal with different scenarios in case the worst happens.
  • Pay attention to the people and cars around you.
  • Stay vigilant and minimise distractions such as using your phone or listening to music.
  • Trust your instincts and listen to your gut if you feel uneasy.

Have Knowledge of Potential Threats

Knowing potential threats might be challenging if you are in unfamiliar territory. It’s difficult to determine a stranger’s next move or whether they’re a danger until they do something. However, there are general identifiers that you can use to keep yourself aware of risks in public spaces.

You can keep these tips in mind to help you stay vigilant:

  • Observe anyone with shifty behaviour.
  • Look out for suspicious items that can be used as a weapon.
  • Be aware of anyone who appears highly anxious.
  • Notice anyone who is making frequent rounds in the same space.

Know Where You’re Going

It’s always important to give the impression that you know where you’re going. You won’t be seen as an easy target when you walk confidently. This includes maintaining a steady pace and eye contact if a stranger approaches you.

Planning your route can also enhance your confidence and purpose when reaching your destination. Additionally, being confident and displaying a positive attitude can help reduce making mistakes that can endanger your life. In most cases, criminals target victims who show signs of confusion about where they’re headed.

Keep Your Belongings Safe

Protecting your belongings in public spaces can reduce your chances of being a victim of theft. It’s not wise to keep valuable items with you, but if you don’t have a choice, ensure you keep them close. Use inside or the front instead of back pockets that can be easily accessed while walking in a crowded area.

Distractions such as being on your phone can compromise your safety. Here’s what you can consider for keeping your belongings safe:

  • Be mindful of anyone who might be following you.
  • Keep your bag close to you.
  • Keep your electronics out of sight.
  • Lock your car and ensure valuables are out of sight if you need to park.
  • Don’t leave your belongings unattended in restrooms, restaurants, or public transport.

Stay in the Crowd

Walking alone can isolate you and make you a vulnerable target for perpetrators. The general rule is that there’s better safety in numbers rather than alone. Knowing how to use the crowd as a shield and promote safety while navigating public spaces is essential.

Screaming for help is easier if someone grabs you or tries to tamper with your belongings. Being with others can improve your safety and provide faster responses if you are a victim. Being surrounded by other people is also an excellent way to feel more comfortable and not look isolated.

Don’t Drive or Walk Alone at Night

Being alone at night can increase your chances of being a victim of various crimes. It’s important to remain cautious of strangers and take safety precautions even in a well-lit area. To minimise risks, avoid using empty streets or parking areas without security.

Other safety tips to consider if you must drive or walk alone at night:

  • Keep your phone close but not visible to strangers if you need to press the iER panic button widget or send a silent alert.
  • Wear reflective clothing if walking in poorly lit areas.
  • Ensure your headlights are functioning.
  • Carry a whistle or pepper spray in case you need to defend yourself.
  • Share your live location with someone to know where you are in real-time.

In summary, you might not be able to avoid being in public spaces. However, you can stay prepared and plan to maximise your safety with these tips and your FREE iER App. Download our leading emergency safety app to send general or specific instant alerts to our 24/7 emergency response centre if you are a victim of a crime while walking or driving in public spaces.

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