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Protecting yourself

This page and our downloadable leaflet will give you a range of information designed to inform you about what to look out for.

Protect yourself image

You will also find advice and guidance on what you can do if the worst should happen. 


Personal safety

Violent crimes committed by strangers in public places account for a very low proportion of recorded crime, but nevertheless there are still measures that will dramatically reduce these crimes even further.

Most people already take simple precautions as part of their everyday lives, without realising it. Staying safe is all about anticipating potential problems by listening and being aware of what and who's around you, and knowing what action to take to stay out of danger.

Don't be frightened to trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, take action to avoid it:

  • Prepare - think about how you're going to get there and back and remember to tell someone where you're going, who you're going with and when you expect to return.
  • Look confident - remember your body language - stand tall and look like you know where you're going.
  • Carry a personal safety alarm and learn how to use it.
  • Carry emergency phone numbers (including the numbers to cancel your credit cards), some change, a phone card and your keys in a safe pocket.
  • Avoid risks and be aware - keep looking and listening to what's happening around you.
  • Try not to change plans at the last minute, but if you have to, tell someone.
  • Never take safety for granted - don't say to yourself 'it only happens to other people' or 'it's only a short journey' or 'they look honest'.
  • Trust your instincts - if you feel that something is wrong, it makes sense to avoid it.
  • Avoid short cuts through dark places - keep away from odd and out-of-the-way places whenever you can.
  • Cross the road if you see people you don't feel comfortable about and be aware of who's around you when you're out and about.
  • Walk in the middle of the pavement facing the traffic, so that cars can't follow you.
  • Mobile phones, MP3 players and laptops are attractive to thieves, so be careful where you use them and be aware of what's happening around you if you are using them.
  • Cover up expensive looking jewellery and wear your bag across your body, so that it opens on the side facing you.
  • In winter, wear your coat over your bag to hide it - you're an easy target if you leave your bag facing backwards over your shoulder or carry it over one shoulder.
  • If you use a wheelchair or motorised scooter, keep your handbag in front of you, rather than hanging it on the back of the chair where thieves can steal it.
  • If somebody does try to take your bag, let it go and don't fight to keep it - you're less likely to be hurt.

For further information visit

Keeping your valuables safe

Purse snatch leaflet

Keep your valuables safe leaflet

Cash machine fraud

Things to remember when using a cash machine.​

  • Be aware of your surroundings - if someone is crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction and go to another machine.
  • If there is anything unusual about the cash machine or signs of tampering, do not use the machine and report it to the bank immediately.
  • If you suspect that a skimming device has been attached to a cash machine, inform staff within the bank or if this is not possible, inform the police - put your personal safety first and do not attempt to remove it yourself.
  • Do not accept help from seemingly well-meaning strangers and never allow yourself to be distracted.
  • Stand close to the cash machine and always shield the keypad to avoid anyone seeing you enter your PIN.
  • Once you have completed a transaction, discreetly put your money and card away before leaving the cash machine.
  • If the cash machine does not return your card, report its loss immediately to your bank.
  • Tear up or preferably shred your cash machine receipt, mini-statement or balance enquiry when you dispose of them.

For further information visit

Cyber security

Top tips to stay safe online.​

  • No bank or card issuer will contact you by email and ask you to enter all your personal and financial details online - if you receive a message like this, report it to your bank, then delete it.
  • If you get an email from an unknown source, do not open it and do not click on any attachments.
  • Make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date.
  • Never follow the messages from anti-virus software you encounter whilst on the internet - only follow the anti-virus instructions from the software you have installed on your computer.
  • Install an anti-spyware package.
  • Always use a firewall.
  • Ensure that your software is up to date.

For further information visit

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a serious and complex issue. It is a crime that remains largely hidden behind closed doors, leaving victims feeling trapped, powerless and isolated - afraid to say anything in case it makes a bad situation worse. 

However, abuse is rarely a one-off event. For example, on average a victim will endure 30 to 35 assaults before seeking help. The level of abuse is likely to increase over time and could even result in murder.

Experience suggests that friends, families and neighbours are often aware or suspect that something is happening but, for one reason or another, are reluctant to get involved - this is a mistake.

Domestic abuse ruins family life and has long term, serious consequences for everyone concerned.

The definition of domestic violence and abuse is: Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to:

  • make a person subordinate and / or dependent by isolating them from sources of support,
  • exploit their resources and capacities for personal gain,
  • deprive them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape, and
  • regulate their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

​Getting help

If you or somebody you know needs confidential help or advice, call:

Help is also available from the following organisations which can be accessed via the below links:

  • National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) - providing legal assistance to obtain civil orders / injunctions.
  • GALOP - supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
  • Mankind - supporting male victims of domestic violence and abuse.
  • Karma Nirvana - aiming to stop forced marriage and honour based violence.
  • Refuge - a national domestic violence charity which provides specialist support to women and children who experience domestic violence.

Worried your partner could be abusive?

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare's Law) gives you the right to ask the police if your partner has a history of domestic abuse. No one should feel unsafe in a relationship.

If you are in a relationship and you are worried that your partner may have been abusive in the past, or if you're concerned about a friend or relative in a relationship, or you're concerned about starting a new relationship, visit our web page Civil options and safeguarding tools (including DVPO, DVDS/Clare's Law). Here you will find advice and guidance on the scheme, how to make a report and information on Domestic Violence Protection Notices / Orders.

For further information visit

Are you a victim of crime

In an emergency please call 999. You can contact the police on 101 to report the crime or visit a police station. For advice and reassurance please follow the below link to identify your safer neighbourhood team where their contact details are available

Theft from person

Before contacting the police to report a theft it would be useful if you had any makes, models and serial numbers for any of the items that have been stolen.

If you are able to provide any makes, models and serial numbers it means that we can search our systems to see if any of the items have been handed in.

Having specific information about property that has been stolen means we can detail the stolen property onto the crime report. If your items are found at a later stage, we can search the crime report database and trace the items back to you.

What happens next?

Once you have reported an incident of theft to the police, you will be given a crime reference number which you may need for insurance purposes.

What else can I do?

If the item that has been stolen from you is a mobile phone, a laptop, a games console, a bike or a camera then you can register your property as stolen on which is the UK National Property Register. However, you would need specific serial numbers for your items before you can register them on the website.

Alternatively, if the item that has been stolen is one of the following items then you should also contact the relevant authorities / organisations to let them know:

  • A bank card - contact the bank or building society to get the bank card cancelled and also to find out whether there have been any transactions on your card after it has been stolen. If the bank provides you with details of transactions that were made after your card was stolen, then please ensure you obtain the following information so that we can investigate the card usages: the date, time, amount and location of the transaction.
  • A driving licence - contact the DVLA to advise them that your driving licence has been stolen, this can be done by following the link
  • A passport - contact Her Majesty's Passport Office (Tel: 0300 222 0000) or alternatively visit If a passport is found and handed in to a police station, it will have to be sent back to the HM Passport Office and cannot be returned back directly to the person who it belongs to.
  • A mobile phone - contact your service provider to get the phone barred to ensure that no one can make calls from it.

For further information visit


When you or someone you care about is assaulted, it is a very traumatic event. There are different levels of violence and assault and these are categorised in law by the level of injury.

The police response may be different based on the circumstances of the offence and the type of assault. Police may attend immediately or come and see you at a later time.

Reporting an incident to police

When a report of an assault is made to the police control room the operator will consider the circumstances including the following factors:

  • If there is a threat to life or limb.
  • If the incident is in progress or likely to occur or be resumed.
  • If there is a suspect at the scene or an early arrest is likely.
  • Violence is being used or threatened.
  • A 999 call is abandoned, or the operator thinks a police officer needs to attend immediately.

Depending on the circumstances it may be more appropriate for the victim to receive medical attention before speaking with the police - this will be assessed on a case by case basis.

In this case, what can you do before the police attend?

  • Obtain medical attention if required.
  • Keep any clothing or items relevant to the offence (if there is blood or forensic evidence).
  • Write down any witnesses.
  • Take photos of the injuries.

Police officers assigned to the incident will make contact with the person who has been assaulted and make sure all evidence is secured. This will include any evidence at the scene.

Photographic evidence of any injuries will assist the investigation and can be recorded by the victim or the officer attending, serious injuries will be photographed by a crime scene investigator.

Putting Victims First The police will update you on progress with the investigation, letting you know of any arrests or suspects being charged. You can agree with the police how often you would like to hear from them about the investigation as part of the statutory scheme called the Victims' Code which underlies Warwickshire Police's Putting Victims First initiative. For further information visit

Help and advice guides

The following help and advice sheets are available to download at or by clicking the graphics below:

Cyberbullying and online harassment - adult
Cyberbullying and online harassment - adult
Cyberbullying and online harassment - young person
Cyberbullying and online harassment - young person
Hate Crime Adult
Hate Crime Adult
Hate Crime Young Person
Hate Crime Young Person
Missing Person
Missing Person


Further support and prevention

Safe and Well visits 

Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service
Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service play a key role in keeping communities safer. One of the ways in which this is achieved is through our Safe and Well service.

We know from our data that elderly residents and people with limited mobility are more at risk of having a fire in their home and this is something that we are trying to tackle head on with our Safe and Well visits. The visits however, are not just about assessing fire safety risks, but also slips, trips and falls, winter warmth and home security.

A Safe and Well visit is tailored to an individual's needs and will provide you or the person you care for, with the relevant actions and advice to help make your home a safer place, and protect you and your family from the risks of fire. It will also provide you with a fire escape plan to follow, should the unthinkable happen. As part of the visit our crews may also fit smoke alarms and specialist equipment if it is required.

If you know someone who may be at risk or have contact with someone vulnerable, then please ensure that you refer them on for a free Safe and Well visit. It could save their life!

To book a free Safe and Well visit, log onto or call 01926 466282.

Victim Support logo Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser windowVictim Support

Victim Support is an independent charity that help people affected by crime and traumatic events. They are not part of the police or any other criminal justice agency.

Tel: 0808 168 9111

Immobilise logo Immobilise

Register your valuables to help reduce property crime and improve the chances of getting them back in the event of loss or theft.

CrimeStoppers Logo Crimestoppers

An independent charity that gives you the power to speak up to stop crime, 100% anonymously.

Whoever you are, wherever you live, from communities to companies.

Contact Crimestoppers by phone on 0800 555 1111 or online, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Counter Terrorism Policing Counter Terrorism Policing

Report suspicious behaviour here:

You can also report suspicious activity by contacting the police in confidence on 0800 789 321.

Action Fraud Action Fraud

Report online at:

Action Fraud is the UK's National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.