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How do I make safer choices?

If you become a victim of crime it’s not your fault – no-one has the right to harm you, or to commit other crimes against you, whatever the situation.

Sometimes people behave in certain ways, or choose to do particular things, which can put them at greater risk of becoming a victim.

This advice will help you think through what risky behaviours are and the safer choices you can make. Hopefully, by following this advice and putting these plans into action, you can avoid becoming a victim of crime in the future.

What are 'risky behaviours'?

Risky behaviours are actions or activities which can put you at greater risk of coming to harm. That could be becoming a victim of crime, or getting seriously hurt, or ending up in trouble with the police. Risky behaviours aren’t necessarily illegal (although some are), but they are unsafe.

Examples of risky behaviour could include:

  • unsafe internet use
  • offending behaviour such as vandalism, graffiti or shoplifting
  • skipping school
  • staying away from home for long periods of time – maybe even for several days – without telling your parents or carer where you are
  • using drugs or alcohol
  • spending time with a friendship group who are doing risky things or committing crimes

These are just some examples, there are many more activities or choices that could be classed as risky behaviour. In some cases risky choices are fun, but they only stay fun for as long as you are safe. So the important thing is to take some time to think about what you’re doing, work out whether you are putting yourself at risk, and be able to make the right choices.

Making a safer choice

Questions to ask yourself

Putting in safety strategies

  • Asking for help

    It’s important to choose the right person to talk to. It should be an adult you feel safe and comfortable with, so it might be someone who has helped you before.

  • Find support nearest to you

    There are lots of ways you can cope with the effects of crime.

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