Personal Safety

Violence and crime of any kind is not acceptable. Here are some tips to help you to stay safe.

Tips for personal safety

Do not:

  • let someone you don’t know into your house
  • hand over your bank account details or your debit /credit card/pension book
  • give your personal details or passwords on social media
  • respond to emails or texts from a person or organisation you don’t know

When out and about

  • try to stay in bright, well-lit and busy areas, where you will feel and be safest
  • try to look and act confident
  • try not to be conspicuous about the valuables that you are carrying
  • if someone tries to take something from you, it may be better to let them take it rather than to get into a confrontation and risk injury.
  • if you use a wheelchair, keep your things beside you rather than on the back of the chair

Staying safe on public transport

Safer Transport Northumbria App lets you raise concerns about yours or someone’s safety when travelling anywhere in our region on public transport. Whether you commute to work on the Metro or head out to the shops on the bus, you can quickly flag issues, get support and help support others. It also provides quick access up-to-date travel information to help with making travel plans. To help you and other public transport users make safe and comfortable journeys throughout Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

Read more about public transport on InformationNOW

Domestic violence

Domestic violence is abuse from a partner, ex-partner, or family member, which may be physical, emotional or sexual.

If you’re being abused report it to Northumbria Police in an emergency call 999.

Newcastle Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) offer 24 hour telephone support and emergency accommodation to those experiencing domestic violence and abuse in Newcastle.

Hate crime

Targeting anyone verbally or physically because of a personal characteristic is a hate crime. This can be any act of violence, aggression, prejudice or hostility directed at you because of your:

  • age
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • lifestyle

Read more about local help and support if you experience hate crime

How to contact the Police if speaking or making a noise would put you in danger

The Silent Solution police system 

If you’re in an emergency situation and need police help, but can’t speak, Make Yourself Heard to let the 999 operator know your call is genuine. All 999 calls are directed to call centres where you are asked which service you need. If no service is requested but something suspicious is heard during your call, BT operators will connect you to a police call handler if you can communicate with them using the steps described below:

  1. Listen to the call handlers questions
  2. Cough or tap the handset if possible
  3. Press 55 if prompted, to let them know your call is genuine. You can then be put through to the police
  4. If calling from a landline the silent solution can’t be used. They will try to ask you questions and get a response from you. If they can’t decide if your call is genuine, the call may be ended. However the call may stay connected for 45 seconds. Pick up the handset again to let the police know your call is genuine. If the call handler is worried about your safety you’ll be connected to your local police. Calling from a landline gives the call handler more information about your location.

Read more about the Silent Police Solution.

Online safety

Read more on how to stay safe online

Cyber crime, fraud and scams


Stalking is illegal. It can be in person or online. It can include being followed or constantly harassed by another person for example, being sent unwanted emails, calls or texts.

Cyber stalking is online harassment and is similar to cyberbullying. It can be carried out in emails, text messages and social media posts.

If you’re being stalked report it to Northumbria Police in an emergency call 999

Suzy Lamplugh Trust’s National Stalking Helpline

The Cyber Helpline support victims of cybercrime and online harm. Chat to their chatbot and get immediate advice on how to deal with your cyber security issue. If you need more help, it will pass you onto one of their volunteer cyber security experts.

The Alice Ruggles Trust provides online resources and information about stalking awareness

Staying safe advice

Suzy Lamplugh Trust was founded to highlight the risks people face in their daily lives and to offer advice, action and support to minimise those risks. Their mission is to raise awareness of the importance of personal safety and to provide solutions that effect change in order to help people to avoid violence and aggression and live safer, more confident lives. They have information on a range of topics such as:

  • personal alarms
  • transport safety
  • safety at home
  • internet safety

Age UK‘s Guide to Staying Safe.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is not acceptable. It can involve: unwanted sexual comments, gestures, attention, comments about your appearance. It can be carried out by a stranger, by a work colleague, or by someone you know. It can be both in person and online.

Victim Support offers support to people who have been sexually harassed.

The Revenge Porn Helpline supports adult victims of intimate image abuse who live in the UK. They provide advice, guidance and support with helping to remove intimate content which has been non-consensually shared online. is a free tool designed to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image (NCII) abuse.

Sexual assault and rape

If you are assaulted or raped please report it to Northumbria Police. In an emergency call 999.

If someone forces you to do something you do not want to do of a sexual nature, it is never your fault and it is not okay. If this has happened to you, you should report it or speak to someone you trust to get help and support.

Any sort of sexual activity without consent is illegal whatever the age of the people involved and whatever your relationship.

If you are unable to give consent or you feel pressured, scared or you’re drunk or high and a person still has sex or a sexual activity with you this is a sexual assault or rape.

Sexual violence can happen at any point in your life, at any age and to people of all genders. It includes rape, molestation, sexual threats, harassment and forced exposure to pornography. Sexual violence against adults and children often happens in their homes. But it can also take place in the community, or in institutional settings such as care facilities.

Rape Crisis Tyneside & Northumberland support women and girls who have experienced sexual violence. They offer counselling, telephone or email support and specialist information.

Safeline provides specialist support for adults and children affected by or at risk of sexual abuse and rape. They have a free national telephone helpline. You can access support in the way that suits you best such as, face to face, telephone, email or online chat.

Safeline National Male Survivor Helpline and Online Support service is a free telephone helpline for men and boys affected by sexual violence and abuse and people who support them. They have an online chat where you can speak to someone about your experience.

Read more about sexual health on InformationNOW

Violence against women and girls

Men are most often the perpetrators of violence against women and girls. It can start with words, or what may be dismissed as a ‘joke’ or ‘banter’. This behaviour may seem harmless, but it adds to a culture of abuse towards women which can lead to sexual violence.

Sexual violence is problematic or sexist behaviour towards women and girls. It can happen in any town, city or community. It ranges from:

  • ‘catcalling’: shouting sexually suggestive, threatening, or offensive comments at someone in public
  • belittling women: using hurtful words to make them feel bad about themselves or their ideas
  • harassing or objectifying women:  unwanted sexual comments, gestures, attention, comments about your appearance
  • violence
  • threatening behaviour
  • assault and rape

Here’s some helpful videos. They show how this behaviour harms women. Helping to educate men and boys, to prevent sexual violence.

Have a word explains what to do if you notice violent behaviour towards women. They have helpful information on how to talk to your friends about their behaviour and how to report people who are doing harm to others.

That Guy shows men how their behaviour can be harmful to women. Their website and videos start conversations with men about male sexual entitlement to help reduce sexual crimes. Don’t be That Guy.

Enough is the government website with more information about the different types of abuse and it’s impact. Visit their site to read more about  what to do if you are abused, witness abuse or if you’re worried about your behaviour. Information is also available in British Sign Language (BSL). Abuse takes many forms. Enough is enough

White Ribbon UK (WRUK) is the global campaign that encourages anyone over 14 years, to promise never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women and girls.

Newcastle City Council supports White Ribbon UK and is White Ribbon Accredited. We know that not all men are violent or abusive but understand that it’s only by working with men and boys that we will end male violence against women. Visit their website to find out more and how to support the campaign.

Read more about Domestic violence on InformationNOW.

Useful links

You may also find these articles on InformationNOW useful

Last updated: March 15, 2024