Keeping safe on the street

Here are a few suggestions:

When you are at work

  • Try to stay alert.
  • Make sure you are wearing clothes and shoes you can run in if you need to get away from a customer quickly.
  • Carry a personal alarm or whistle to use if you get into trouble.  Keep it somewhere handy.
  • Don’t wear scarves even in winter as someone may try to strangle you with this.
  • Take notice of your instincts.  If you feel threatened or uneasy don’t go with a customer.  Head for a place where there are other people around.
  • Have you told someone where you are working?
  • Have you got a working mobile phone with you to call for help if needed?  If not then do you have change for a phonecall.
  • Try working in groups of two or three so that you can look out for each other’s safety.
  • Agree a sign between you, or a code word, for if you are not happy with a situation or customer.
  • Try to appear confident and in control when talking to a customer.
  • Get paid first.  Don’t let someone see where you keep your money.  Put the new payment in a different place to cash you may already have on you.
  • Be clear about the services you will provide and your prices.

Know your Area

  • Choose the area where you work carefully.  Do you know escape routes?
  • Do you know about any recent Ugly Mug incidents in your work area
  • Do you know the phone number and name of your local outreach service.  They may be doing night outreach while you are at work and be able to give you information so that you can work more safely.
  • Try to work in busy, well lit streets especially at night.  Use safer routes to get to and from work even if it takes longer. 

Getting into a car

  • Before you get into a car check how many people are in the car, and note the registration number as it drives up if you can.
  • Avoid getting into a car with more than one person in it.  If the vehicle is a van try to check out if anyone is in the back. 
  • Try to text registration number to someone before you get into a car.
  • Arrange price, service, and location before you get into a car.
  • You choose where you go to for business so that it’s somewhere you know. 
  • Ask the driver to keep your window wound down so that you can shout for help or get out of the window if you need to.  You may also be able to bang on the car horn or flash the lights if you have a problem.
  • Make sure the driver does not park too close to a wall or another vehicle for you to get out.  Invent a reason to change where you are parked if necessary e.g police activity.
  • Try to leave the door on your side slightly open.
  • Insist on staying in the front of two door cars as escaping quickly from the back can be very difficult.