Archive for August, 2013

Cyber bullying of young people on the rise

Posted in personal safety on August 28th, 2013 by Chris – Be the first to comment

Bullying is no longer something that only happens face to face.  In the past, bullying may have happened at school, in the playground or in local social clubs, now it can happen anywhere.  Due to the increased use of mobile phones, email, social networks and other chat based websites cyber bullying has risen dramatically as targets become more accessible.  Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Cyber bullying happens when one or more individuals tease, threaten, harass or embarrass another person through use of technology – often allowing the bully to remain anonymous.  The technology itself is of no danger – rather it is down to the use the technology is put to and often it is other children who partake in these cruel and vindictive acts. Escaping from cyber bullying can be hard due to the 24/7 nature of the internet and victims can be left feeling very isolated, distressed, lonely and vulnerable.

Top Tips for Parents – How to identify if your child is a victim of cyber bullying

You may have noticed that your normally happy vibrant child has become withdrawn and moody but refuses to talk to you about what is bothering them.  Significant increases in messages to their mobile phone may also be an indicator that they are being victimised by cyber bullies. So it is important that you –

  • Talk to your child about responsible online behaviour
  • Let your child know that if anything online bothers them, makes them feel upset or worried they can talk to you about it.
  • It is extremely important to remind your child that once a comment or image is posted or a message sent online you cannot take it back.
  • Teenagers need to consider the impact that anything they do or say on line may have on their future career.


Top Tips for Victims


  • You shouldn’t have to face bullying or cyber bullying alone – talk to someone you know and trust such as a parent, carer or teacher.  They can help you overcome bullying and be there to listen to you as well as report anything serious.
  • It is extremely important to talk things though with someone – it can make you feel less isolated, more confident and put you back in control of the situation.
  • Keep a copy of any abusive messages that you receive and record the send date/time.
  • Keeping records can help the Police investigate if a bully’s activities overstep the line – particularly if the bullying has racial or sexual harassment connotations.
  • Never reply to messages that you receive. It will simply encourage the bullies and result in further upset.


Have your say – should the police commit more resources to investigating cyber bullying or sexual/racial harassment on line or do they already have too much work?

Personal safety tips for students

Posted in personal safety on August 16th, 2013 by Chris – Be the first to comment

With one third of students estimated to become victims of crime during their academic career and 20 per cent of student robberies occurring in the first six weeks of the academic year – what is your University doing to make you safer? 

In recent weeks the media has been splatted with headlines boasting of a reduction in crime in the UK.  Proud crime statistics showed that overall crime has fallen by 5% since 2011 (give or take a per cent or two depending upon which newspaper you read) but even with crime rates dropping – becoming a victim of crime can really take the gloss off student life.  So what is your University doing to make you safer and what can you do to avoid becoming a crime statistic?

Check if your university providing free Street Survival Skills training – some do.   But even if your establishment isn’t offering training – there are still things you can do to make yourself safer.

Check out our five top tips for helping you ‘stay safe and party on’

Get to know your new environment:

  • Get to know where the “No Go” areas are.
  • Ask ‘established’ students where they are and avoid these suburbs especially when alone.

Find out about the crime trends in your new city:

These will vary from city to city across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.  How do you find out about crime trends in your new city?

  • Ask those who’ve been there for a while what they are concerned about;
  • In the UK you can access the website to check crimes in your locality.
  • Observe how the locals dress / behave and copy them  to blend in – do people carry their backpack’s on their backs or, more like a baby carrier, in front of their body?  THINK – why are they doing this?

3.    How secure is your new flat?

Ask your landlord if your flat or block has had any break ins – in the UK they have a duty to disclose this information – if you ask –

  • Check the website and look at the ‘crime map’ to find out what crimes have occurred in your locality – is your street one named on the crime map?  Find out why.
  • Do what you can to make your place more secure by using extra security and get good insurance.
  • Get advice from your local neighbourhood crime team;
  • Make sure windows and doors are closed & locked before you go out.

 4.    Out and about and partying – avoid the risk of getting your drinks spiked by:

Drinking from a bottle rather than a glass – it is harder for someone to drop something into a bottle than a glass.  Better yet get a specially designed stopper that you can insert a straw in to but which closes off the neck of the bottle.

  • Don’t leave your drinks unattended.
  • Plan ahead – make sure someone knows where you are going, who you are meeting and when you expect to return.
  • Go out as a group – come back as a group – look out for your mates.
  • Always plan how you are going to get home and book a taxi before you leave home using a cab firm recommended by your University.

5.       Travel Safety

 If you have a car think carefully about where you will park it and what you leave in it – is it obvious it’s a woman’s car?  You might want to leave a motorbike magazine in the car or something similar to make it less obvious.

  • Think about the risks you face when getting in to a taxi – if you just flag a taxi down in the street who else knows where you are?   THINK – this the perfect place to carry out a crime against you.
  • And after a great night out make sure you have enough money to get home again!

 For more personal safety tips sign up to our newsletter or contact Julie for details of your nearest street survival skills training event.

Tel: 01623 407793 

or go to:

With crime rates falling, is personal safety still an issue?

Posted in personal safety on August 9th, 2013 by Chris – Be the first to comment

Incidents of violent crime have dropped dramatically in the UK – so do we still need to be concerned about our Personal Safety?


Following the recent Home Office report, information provided showed that the recorded crime rate has fallen by 38% since 2002, the UK government claim this is down to good policing and comes in spite of staffing reductions of up to 20% across the UK.


Most striking perhaps is the fact that this decline has occurred across so many categories of crime. The only category to show a significant increase is theft from the person/fraud which rose by 8% to 107,471 recorded offences.  It is worth noting that incidents of violent crime have also dropped in the USA and many European countries so this trend is not unique to the UK.


Certainly we know there are factors which can reduce crime – car manufacturers have made ‘hot wiring’ cars a thing of the past; improved home security makes burglary much more difficult and let’s not forget the ‘target hardening’ benefits of personal safety training.


Many employers now see Personal Safety & Conflict Resolution training as a core part of their induction programmes particularly for those who are lone workers employed in challenging or high risk roles.  And while employers do have a duty to consider the personal safety of their staff it may surprise you to hear that statistically lone workers are not the group most at risk.


When we ask delegates ‘Statistically which group in society do you think is most at risk from assault?’  Invariably the response will be lone workers or the elderly and elderly women in particular.   While elderly people are vulnerable they are more commonly the victims of ‘distraction burglaries’ not street crime. (For more on this topic or to view our next blog post, sign up on our homepage)


It may surprise you to learn that statistically the most vulnerable age group is 16-24 year olds and young men are more liable to be victims of assault than young women.  


But becoming a victim of crime is not inevitable.  Criminals look for easy targets and if they think attacking you will be too much trouble or sense that you could identify them, they will abort and look for an easier target.  Personal safety training can make a lot of difference to a young person’s risk profile – often after delivering training to students, adults present comment that they wish there had been similar training when they were younger – they might have avoided whatever criminal activity they became prey to when they first started college.  Indeed there is nothing more likely to take the shine off your first term at university than becoming the victim of crime.

If you would like to hear more about our short course on Street Survival Skills for young people please give Brooks Jordan a call on 01623 407793 and ask for Julie.


So what do you think?  Are the Police getting better at detecting crime?  Are more criminals going straight or might there be another explanation?  Could it be that we are finally wising up to crime?

Tweet your thoughts to @brooksjordants