Make this a summer to remember for all the right reasons. Follow our advice on personal safety.
As part of Hampshire Constabulary's Rape Awareness Week, the forces Crime Prevention Advisor Barbara Clayton highlights the importance of being aware of yours and others personal safety this summer and provides this advice, which is relevant to both men and women:
Out and about at night
The time when people can be left vulnerable is when they and others are out drinking. It can sometimes result in people taking additional risks with theirs and others safety.
- Firstly, if out in a group look out for each other.
- Book a taxi for coming home. Wait for the driver to ask for you by name - do not ask them if they are waiting for you.
- Keep your taxi fare separate from your evening spending money so you won't be left stranded without the fare.
- If you haven't booked a cab for the trip home, only used licensed taxis, preferably from a taxi rank.
- Don't leave your drinks unattended. Carry them with you when dancing and take turns to go to the loo.
- If you have a drink bought for you, make sure you take it directly from the bar staff.
- Keep an eye out for anyone in your group acting more drunk than the amount of alcohol they have consumed would warrant - we all know our reaction to alcohol and if you or they feel ill or drunker than expected, your drink may have been tampered with - raise the alarm to someone straight away and head home.
- If you have hooked up with someone and heading home with them, to yours or theirs, think about where it's leading and make sure you are both capable of making sound decisions and that consent is given by both of you.
- Know your limits with alcohol. If one of your friends is unable to look after themselves, step in and take care of them - hopefully they will return the favour should you ever need it.
- Avoid accepting a lift from a stranger and going home with someone you have only just met. And don't be afraid to call for help if you think you need it - don't wait until it's too late.
The reason for these messages is that we want to reduce the possibility of people finding themselves in situations where a chain of events can lead to series consequences. And this is about raising awareness around areas where people can look at reducing these risks.
For more information about the Hampshire Constabulary Rape Awareness Week click here.