Some people would have you believe it isn’t ever safe to leave the house at night on your own. We don’t agree – and life wouldn’t be as much fun without visits to restaurants, bars, clubs, theatres and cinemas.

But as with anything, it’s best to know what you’re dealing with. If you’re nervous about a certain situation, having a plan, an escape route and taking some basic security precautions will improve your confidence.

The tips below will help you look after yourself and your belongings when you’re out on your own:

  • Walk with a sense of purpose and memorise your route so you know where you are going without a map
  • Always meet someone new in a busy place
  • Carry a whistle or personal alarm
  • Don’t walk and text; If you need to text, stop and lean against a wall, but remember, phone theft is very common
  • Keep your phone charged and in a separate place to your purse and keys – never in the same bag
  • Playing music loudly through headphones makes it harder to hear people approaching
  • Wearing expensive clothes or jewellry attracts the wrong attention
  • Don’t hang your bag over the back of a chair, but put the strap around the chair’s leg; anti-theft bags are helpful
  • When travelling alone on public transport, sit with others or near the driver
  • If you’re meeting someone you don’t know, always tell a friend where you are going and let them know when you are back home
  • If someone offers to buy you a drink, follow them to the bar and never leave your drink alone
  • Tell someone you trust immediately if you think your drink has been tampered with or you feel unwell
  • Watch how much alcohol you drink – a glass of water between alcoholic drinks is a good idea
  • Be very careful about how much personal information you post on websites like Tinder and Grindr
  • Never post too much information online about your movements
  • A hidden emergency £10 will always get you home. Keep it away from your purse and mobile phone
  • If you can stick with a group of friends when going home, you can take it in turns to be a designated driver or share a licensed taxi

In the unlikely event that you do find yourself in a sticky situation, shout, scream, use your whistle or let off your personal alarm – and run. If a criminal wants your purse or phone, always throw it in one direction and run in the other.

We hope this advice will make your evenings out safe as well as enjoyable.