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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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There are several websites which give sound advice on how to keep you and your belongings safe when out shopping. Listed below are a few points which will go some way to ensuring your belongings and purchases are safe.

  • Make sure your purse, mobile phones and other valuables are well hidden from view, in the bottom of your bag or in a zipped pocket.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash with you when shopping.
  • Keep pin numbers, cards and chequebooks separate.
  • If the fastening of your handbag is on the side, keep the side with the fastening closest to your body and not exposed.
  • Rucksack type bags with the opening on the back are not a good place to keep valuables as they are easily opened.
  • Do not carry too many bags of shopping as it makes you vulnerable against pick pockets.

In general though, wherever you are try and remember the following suggestions:-

  • Do not walk home alone late at night. If you do then choose well-lit main roads and walk confidently.
  • If someone does grab your bag fighting back is not always a good idea, you do not know if your attacker has a weapon.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Reading or listening to music can be distracting.
  • In a busy public place, try to only use your mobile phone in an emergency as it is advertising the fact that you have a phone, and whilst using it you may be distracted, making it easier to take it from you.
  • If you are attacked it is often better to shout 'fire' rather than 'help', it tends to attract more attention.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.