Prevention Advice



Anyone can put in place the following set of measures to avoid crime:

» ensure the security of your house;

» make an inventory and even take photographs of your valuables. These includes your car, that should always be locked and have no objects on display;

» avoid walking at night in places that are isolated, poorly lit and less populated;

» criminals look for careless victims. Thus, keep alert to avoid being a victim of crime.





Domestic Violence

During the violent act:

» teach your children how to use the phone to call the police;

» make note of the safe areas in the house, where there are exits and access to a phone. During an argument avoid the kitchen or the garage as it is likely that there are knives and other objects in these areas that can be used as weapons;

» also avoid bathrooms or small spaces where the offender can imprison you;

» make a list of people in which you trust and who can be contacted in case of emergency;

» always have some money with you;

» memorise all the important phone numbers (police, hospital, friend);

» know where the closest public pay phone is and if you have a mobile always keep it with you;

» prepare a travel bag with clothes and leave it with friends or at work, in case you need to leave home;

» do not use scarfs or long necklaces as they can be used in an attack;

» be prepared to leave your house in case of an emergency;

» know where to go if you have to leave your home.


If you decide to leave home:

» always have with you money or a card to use in a public pay phone;

» know whom you can ask for shelter or money;

» have a secret bank account.


When you actually leave the house:

» never take possessions belonging to the offender;

» keep the following documents in one place: your ID card, birth certificates (or ID cards) of your children, social security cards, fiscal identification card, health centre card, passport, vaccine booklet, drivers’ licence and car documents, your phone book, keys (car, work, house), cheque book, credit/debit card;

» take your children’s favourite toys and their school books.





Sexual Violence

» pay attention to what is around you ;

» walk confidently and in well lit places;

» if you find yourself in danger – scream and run if you can;

» never go out with someone you don’t know well or whom you do not trust;

» do not accept rides from strangers;

» if you take a taxi, memorise discretely the licence plate and the driver’s identification number;

» at parties or among friends, do not drink too much or take substances you don’t know what they are.


Road Violence

» check if your car is in working order and if it has enough fuel to arrive at your destination;

» before getting into the car make sure no one is hiding in the back seats;

» drive with the doors locked and the windows up;

» during the trip, place personal objects in the seat by your side;

» do not leave anything on display in the car, namely bags or suitcases;

» avoid driving on your own at night and never give rides to strangers;

» when someone in a motor vehicle asks you for information, do not get too close and maintain a distance of at least one arm's length;

» if you are being followed, drive to a well lit place with people and, if possible, to the nearest police authority. You should never go home;

» when you stop at a traffic light, leave enough distance between your car and the one ahead in case you face a situation of danger and need to escape;

» there may be situations in which the suspects may signal you that there is a false problem in your car (tyres, doors, etc.). In this case, try to confirm, in a safe place, that there is no real problem.


Break-ins & thefts

» never leave your windows open, even on higher floors;

» install bars on lower windows and locks on the higher ones;

» never keep big sums of money in the house;

» have a safe in the house in a well hidden and secure place to keep small valuables;

» take photos of your most valuable objects;

» in case of doubt, always ask employees from any utility companies or others that knock on your door for their ID. They may be doing that using the excuse that they need to carry out repairs or other work you do not know about;

» have the garden well lit;

» if you travel, let a neighbour your trust know about your plans;

» if necessary, install alarms;

» when returning home, have your keys or remotes handy;

» do not give information about your life to strangers;

» in the street, walk away from strangers and avoid suspicious situations  as well as deserted or poorly lit areas – do not stop to give information to strangers, particularly at night;

» avoid cull-de-sacks;

» do not get money from a cash machine in isolated places and after dark;

» avoid walking on your own on the street if you are upset or under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

» use the quickest and safest route to your destination;

» avoid using headphones connected to electronic devices that can distract you from potential sources of danger;

» if you think you are being followed, cross the road and walk back to the closest public place.



» keep the appearance of properties clean and tidy – a dirty and neglected appearance attracts vandalism;

» remove graffiti as quickly as possible, as graffiti attracts more graffiti;

» cover the walls with anti-graffiti paint;

» never leave objects outside your house (namely in the garden) that can easily be thrown against the walls and windows of your home;

» park your car in a well lit place.





Children and young victims



» do not walk alone or with your friends in deserted or empty streets;

» do not play in the street after dark;

» do not play far from home;

» always go directly to school;

» do not carry a lot of money or valuable objects (watches, gold chains) with you;

» never go into a stranger’s car, no matter the reason;

» do not accept treats, sweets, gums, etc., from people you do not know. Stay away from strangers;

» if you are in trouble call 112 and go to the nearest police station, if you can. If someone grabs you, scream as loud as you can and try to escape;

» let your parents, the police or your teachers know, of any danger or suspicious situation you may know or were a victim of;

» if you find yourself home alone, do not open the door to anyone, unless you trust the person completely;

» do not give details of your family or home to strangers;

» if you are home alone, never tell strangers that there is no one else in the house;

» always tell your parents or who is with you where you are going and whom you are going to play with;

» do not be afraid to ask questions and talk to your parents about any subject;

» do not play with fire weapons, even if you think they are unloaded.


Young people

» be always ready to ask for help in case of need;

» have always enough money for a phone call and know the necessary phone numbers;

» learn about using the number 112 in an emergency;

» let always someone know where you are and with whom.



» never say where you live or where is your school;

» do not send photos of yourself or your family;

» do not provide phone numbers or Internet access codes;

» introduce yourself to cyber friends in the same way you do with your real life friends;

» understand that people online are not always what they seem, as they may make up names and stories;

» do not arrange to meet people you have met on the Internet (in a chat room, for example) without your parents knowing;

» suspect offers that are too good to be true. For example, “send this e-mail to 10 friends and win an iPod”;

» ask your parents for permission before you buy anything online.





Older victims


At home:

» Always close your doors and windows when you leave;

» Install a peephole and a safety chain on your door;

» Do not let dubious people or strangers in without making sure who they are;

» Always have the necessary phone numbers handy so you can communicate with someone, particularly the police;

» When you are away from home for several days, let your local police force know;

» Do not leave notes on your door, window or post box informing of your absence;

» Do not let post accumulate and install a safety lock on the post box.


In the street:

» Only carry with you the necessary amount of money;

» Avoid using visible valuable objects or carrying wallets in your hand or pocket;

» Avoid circulating alone in the street, particularly at night;

» Avoid giving information about your life to strangers;

» Carry your bags on the inside of the pavement;

» Always walk on the inside of the pavements;

» On public transport, keep your purse or bag and other possessions near you;

» If someone comes up to you with a confidence trick, do not fall for it and let the police know.



Sources: PJ / PSP / GNR / APAV-j