Whilst Sutton has one of the lowest crime rates in London, it is important to ensure you stay safe when going out. Never take safety for granted – don’t say to yourself “it only happens to other people”, “it’s only a short journey” or “they look honest”.

Before Going Out

PREPARE and PLAN your journey

  • Think about how you’re going to get there and back. Tell someone where you’re going, who you are going with and when you expect to return.
  • Carry a charged mobile phone and a personal safety alarm.
  • Carry emergency phone numbers (including the numbers to cancel your credit cards), some change and your keys in a safe pocket.
  • Stick to busy places likely to be covered by CCTV and avoid dark or deserted areas.
  • Avoid short cuts through dark places. Keep away from odd and out-of-the way places whenever you can.
  • Try not to change plans at the last minute, but if you have to, tell someone.
  • Only use licensed taxis or pre-booked minicabs.

For more information visit : www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/violence/stay-safe/

When In Public

Be AWARE of your surroundings and stay ALERT

  • Avoid risks and be aware – keep looking and listening to what’s happening around you.
  • Look confident – remember your body language – stand tall and look like you know where you’re going.
  • Avoid people you don’t feel comfortable about and be aware of who’s around you.
  • Walk in the middle of the pavement facing the traffic, so that cars can’t follow you.
  • Trust your instincts – if you feel that something is wrong, avoid it.

For more information visit : www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/personal-robbery/street-robbery/

Don’t be a Mug

KEEP your possessions SAFE

Snatch robberies can involve violence or theft. The chance that this will ever happen to you is quite small, but you should be aware of what you can do to keep yourself and your property safe:

  • Be discreet with your belongings; displaying expensive jewellery or electronic devices, like mobile phones or cameras, could attract unwanted attention.
  • Be aware of chain-snatch thieves and make sure your jewellery is not visible.
  • Keep your bag closed. 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 open, facing backwards over your shoulder or carry it over one shoulder.
  • Never leave your bags or other valuables unattended in public places.
  • Return cards to purses, wallets or pockets quickly. Do not place them down on check out counters.
  • 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.
  • Don’t let yourself be distracted. While you are talking to one person another may be taking something of yours.
  • Keep valuables out-of-sight. Don’t leave your phone or wallet on the table of a café, or pub; or hang your bag on the back of a chair.
  • Alcohol and drugs will reduce inhibitions and your reaction times, making it harder to assess threats and how to deal with them. Control how much you drink.
  • Never let your drink out of your sight.

Be aware of Pickpockets

You may have an idea of what a pickpocket looks like, but they’re far less likely to stand out in a crowd than you might think, since blending in is part of how they avoid being caught. Here’s how to spot a potential pickpocket and avoid losing your belongings to one.

  • Observers – People loitering in public places who appear to be checking out passers-by, paying particular interest to their handbags, shopping bags and where they might place their wallet or purse.
  • Opportunists – Pickpockets also operate in shops and department stores, where people are more likely to be standing still, distracted and so paying less attention to their belongings, making them an easier target.
  • Team tactics – Pickpockets don’t always operate alone, they may work in teams to distract the target while someone unseen removes the items and blends back into the crowd. Pickpocket teams are adept at creating distractions. Try not to be easily distracted.
  • Crowding in – Thieves vary their tactics based on the location and the density of the crowd. One tactic is where a group of them push up against a victim in a crowded shop or street then quickly reach into the victim’s pocket and steal their wallet, phone or purse.
  • Dirty tricks – Remember, pickpockets are very skilled at what they do. One of their tactics is ‘hugger mugging’ where a thief will appear to be over-friendly for no particular reason.

For more information visit : www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-from-a-person/pickpocketing/

Cash Machines / ATMs

  • Look around before you use an ATM, see if anyone is standing close by.
  • Check if the ATM looks normal or has been tampered with, if it doesn’t look right – don’t use it.
  • Be aware of anyone near you and don’t be distracted while you are withdrawing the cash. Cover your hands as you PIN and watch your card.
  • If someone taps you on the shoulder or tries to speak to you, ignore them.
  • Put your card and cash away immediately.
  • Keep any contactless cards in a RFID cover to prevent your card details against data theft.

For more information visit: www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/personal-robbery/ATM-safety/

Mobile Phones

Safeguard your Mobile Phone and Tablet

  • Don’t place your phone or tablet on tables in pubs or restaurants.
  • When finished – put it away.
  • When making a call, be aware of those around you.
  • When you leave a station don’t use your phone immediately, wait a few minutes.
  • Don’t walk and text at the same time, you will be less aware of what’s happening around you.
  • Keep calls in public places as brief as possible, the longer you talk, the more likely you are to be spotted by a potential thief.
  • Make sure you have made a note of your mobile phone IMEI number (*#06#).
  • Mobile phones, MP3 players and laptops are attractive to thieves, so be careful of where and what’s happening around you when you are using them.
  • Install a tracking app, and use promptly if the phone is stolen.
  • Property mark and register them with www.immobilise.com

For more information visit: www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/personal-robbery/protect-your-phone/

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If you feel threatened, your priority is to get yourself away, property can be replaced, you can’t. Head for a public place such as a shop, where there are
other people and contact the Police.

For more related information visit : www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/

Suzy’s Story

On the last Monday of July 1986, Suzy Lamplugh, a 25-year-old, disappeared during the course of her work as an estate agent while showing a client round a house in Fulham.

The mission of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust is to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education and support. Their vision is a society in which people are safer – and feel safer – from violence and aggression; so all people are able to live life to the full.