It’s been a long term and we know you’re getting busy towards the end of term and planning ahead for Christmas.
For those who are going home, we hope you have a safe journey home and have a wonderful Christmas with your families. For those who are remaining in the UK over the Christmas break, we hope you have fun with your host families and enjoy travelling around cities, but there are risks when going out and about so we want to give you some advice for staying safe, especially when many of you have not stayed for long periods outside your schools before.
All our hosts live in safe areas but in the unlikely event of something happening, we think it is helpful to provide the following advice.
PLANNING YOUR JOURNEY
- When travelling from school to host families, always use a CGA booked taxi and driver.
- If you know where you are going and by what means of transport you are far less at risk.
- If you are unsure about your journey and travelling onto or around London you can visit the Transport for London website (www.tfl.gov.uk) and use the Plan a Journey facility.
- Stay only fun well lit central areas, do not walk alone in dark back streets and short cuts.
- If you are planning to use public transport, always check the times of the last train, tube or buses.
- Be alert: if you are wearing headphones then a vital sense is denied, and using a mobile telephone can provide a distraction.
- Be aware of those around you: expensive electronics can attract unwanted attention.
- Keep your belongings with you at all times and make sure that pockets on coats and bags are done up.
- If someone attacks or assaults you, then make a scene and noise: someone will almost certainly help you and your attacker may well retreat. Then contact the Police and tell the school and us.
SAFETY ON THE STREET
- Take care when crossing roads, especially when in a group: keep looking and listening.
- Walk down the middle of the pavement: people cannot easily jump at you from doorways and you are also less at risk from passing vehicles who may choose to stop.
- If you are out at night, try to stick to busy streets and near other people. Avoid danger spots such as poorly-lit areas, deserted parks, or quiet alleyways and walk facing oncoming traffic to avoid kerb crawlers.
SAFETY ON BUSES
- Know the number of the bus you wish to catch and the route.
- Regular buses stop at around midnight but night buses, whose numbers always start with N, run throughout the night.
- The safest place on a bus is on the lower deck close to the driver, rather than on the upper deck.
SAFETY ON THE UNDERGROUND
- Hold the handrail when travelling on the escalator and always wear shoes.
- Never slide down the metal area between escalators.
- In the event of any incident or suspected incident, push the Help Point button to connect to the Control room.
- Report any concerns to London Underground staff, as they are trained to deal with concerns.
- Always sit in a carriage with plenty of other people
- If someone is acting suspiciously, get off at the next station and push the emergency button at the Help Point or go straight up to a member of London Underground Staff and report your concern.
- If you see someone else being attacked, push the emergency button. The train will stop at the next station (it will not stop in a tunnel).
SAFETY IN TAXIS
- Always use black cabs in London or licensed minicabs (this includes Uber); NEVER use unlicensed and therefore illegal minicabs.
- Always sit in the back of a minicab and have a rape or shriek alarm to hand.
- Avoid travelling alone in a minicab; if with a friend, you should time your exit to be simultaneous from the two rear doors.
- The telephone number 0871 871 8710 is a central number for all London Black Cabs.
You can use apps like google maps to keep track of your location and keep you safe.
Here are some other apps that we like to use as well:
You can compare all transport modes including scooters and you can access official Underground map etc without internet.
This app can be helpful between you and your family/host family/friends. You can set up emergency contacts on the app and share your location in real time to them, so they can make sure you’re safe, or if anything happened, they will know where you are.
There are also other safety features such as automatically sending SOS alerts to your emergency contacts.