How to stay safe in a crowd
With school holidays starting and summer events taking place all across the country it is important to make sure you and your family are protected when you’re at a crowded venue. A day out or weekend away can be great fun, but there is also the potential for things to go wrong and a little pre-planning can make all the difference.
Before you go…
Think about what you need to take with you; money, phone, keys are the essentials, but do you need food and drinks, what about waterproofs? Try to keep it to a minimum and make things easier for yourself with less to carry and think about.
Dress appropriately for the occasion, try to avoid loose clothing or accessories that could catch, become tangled or pulled on, and make sure your shoes are suitable – will there be lots of walking involved?
Avoid clothes and accessories for children that have their names on them; if a stranger sees and uses their name your child might think they know them.
Take photos of everyone before you leave the house; if you do become separated it will be extremely useful for officials to see an up to date picture with the clothes they are wearing.
Make sure you and your group have a basic knowledge of the layout, where the exits are, first aid points, toilets etc.
Try to keep your group together but arrange a central (and easy to find) meeting point should you become separated.
Remind children to avoid talking to strangers, and help them to identify officials, security guards or police to ask if they get lost. Put your phone number in your child’s pocket just in case you are separated.
One of the obvious risks when in a large crowd is pickpockets. Try not to put your wallet or phone in your back pocket, it will be easy for someone to take without you noticing. Use pockets that are harder to access (inside jacket) and that have zips or buttons to do them up. If you’re carrying a handbag, one with a strap across your body rather than just over the shoulder will be much more secure. And if you wear it in front you can also keep a hand over it.
If alcohol is involved there is more chance of disturbances, so be careful not to get caught up in anything.
Try to avoid confrontation. If the crowd seems to be getting out of control it might be time to leave.
Follow advice of authorities, security or emergency services during any incidents
It is unlikely, but it’s important that you know what to do in a terrorist situation. Follow the government advice of RUN, HIDE, TELL.
And don’t forget if you need to call the emergency services but are unable to make any noise – use the Silent Solution 55 procedure.
Have a great time
It might sound negative listing all the potential risks, but if you prepare before you go, and use a little common sense while out you can have a great time. Enjoy the events and make the most of the summer.