Now that the Olympics are closer than ever and London will see an influx of visitors I believe that this will also be an oppurtunity for criminals in many different areas such as fraud, theft, violence etc, therefore it is important that we take some safety issues into consideration. The lack of security as recent newspapers have highlighted, the strikes that will be taking place, the overcrowded areas of London and the Underground, the safety procedures at airports amongst others all leads to the inevitability of the increase of crime.
Terrorist attacks are the number one concern for the government at the moment with missiles being placed on the rooftops of ordinary London citizens. Police patrols will be on the increase and images of soldiers surrounding Olympic venues may put some people at ease, but it is better if we all take our own safety precautions thus making ourselves less vulnerable to crime.
These are my own safety tips which are often common sense more than anything else but you will be surprised that people do not often take the simplest of precautions.
- Never carry large amounts of money with you
- Aim to use a debit card where possible as it is a safer method of payment & avoids large amounts of cash handling
- When withdrawing money from a cash machine, cover your pin so nobody can see and put your money away quickly, do not count it in the open.
- Pick pockets are everywhere, so men do not keep your wallets in open pockets and women always do up your zip bags, do not leave your handbag hanging on a push chair etc.
Travelling with Children:
- Try to avoid travelling with children where possible
- If you are, aim to keep them in a push chair as they can become excitable, demanding and run around
- Have a small first aid kit in-case the child has an accident (anti-septic wipes, plasters, tissues etc.)
- Before leaving your home teach children about the dangers of talking to strangers and what to do if they get lost
- Always have them in your sight, children are very vulnerable and must be your main priority when you are taking them on a day out
Travelling at Night:
- If traveling by public transport at night always make sure that you go onto a train carriage which is full with other passengers
- Make sure you check your route before traveling as there are often last train times, disruptions and station closures
- Never travel alone, have a friend or relative with you at all times
- If you are getting a taxi always make sure it’s a licenced taxi and book a taxi in advance
- Let someone know that you are on your way to your destination i.e. home, how you are traveling and which route you are taking
- If you are going to get drunk have one friend who will be sober and a responsible driver for taking you home
- Never have your expensive gadgets on display for people to see as this may result in you being the victim of a mugging
These are just basic safety precautions that I would advise anyone to take including myself. On the Olympics homepage however they have their own guidelines and tips on ‘Safety & Security’ if you are travelling to the Olympics. They also have a separate ‘Families’ page where you can get advice if you are traveling with children and what they expect from you including a mini section on baby food where they state that they may ask you to taste any baby milk you bring to verify that it actually is what you say it is. Make sure you have a read of this on the Olympics website so you know what to expect and avoid any possible aggravation. Taking precautions and planning ahead can make your day go more smoothly and be more enjoyable, always stay safe and have fun!