We are very fortunate to live in one of the safest counties in the UK and with Norfolk being a rural location there are plenty of beautiful places to go walking, be that for enjoyment, exercise, with family, pets or alone. However, we are aware that some people can feel vulnerable when out walking, particularly during early evening or nighttime.
There are many factors which can make a person feel unsafe when out walking and these are not limited to an area being linked to crime. Lack of lighting, overgrown hedges or other environmental issues can increase a feeling of vulnerability. Last year the Home Office and Police Digital Service launched a pilot scheme called Street Safe which enables anyone to anonymously flag public areas and mark on a map areas where they feel unsafe while remaining anonymous. The website can be accessed using the link – www.police.uk/streetsafe and there is a facility to be able to tell us what makes you feel vulnerable in that area be that crime, previous experiences, or environmental issues.
There are also several steps you can take to reduce your chances of being a victim of crime or accident while out walking and these include:
- Make sure someone else knows where you are going and what time you are expected back home.
- Have your mobile phone with you and make sure it is fully charged.
- Know the area you are walking and stick to established and well used footpaths.
- Be aware of your surroundings and don’t walk whilst chatting on your mobile phone or with earphones in.
- Don’t carry un-necessary valuables/large amounts of cash
- Join a walking group or walk with friends or family.
- Walk facing oncoming traffic.
- Where clothing that will ensure you can be seen by traffic in the dark
Always remember, if you are in immediate danger, you should call 999.
PC Paula Gilluley – Community Engagement Officer
Kings Lynn & West Norfolk and Breckland District