There are measures that you can take to ensure your personal safety. A lot of the advice suggested is common sense, but it can make a real difference.
- If you are in immediate danger or it’s an emergency please call the police on 999.
- If the crime is not in progress but you are concerned about your personal safety, please call 101, the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number.
- If you do not wish to give information to the police, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online via www.crimestoppers-uk.org/
Further advice on aspects of personal safety can be found at www.suzylamplugh.org/
There are two types of taxi that operate in the borough: (1) Hackney Carriages – these are black and will have a WHITE taxi licence plate displayed at the rear of the vehicle, with a smaller version displayed inside the vehicle. (2) Private Hire Vehicle (minicabs) – these are normal passenger vehicles and must display a BLUE taxi licence plate at the rear of the vehicle.
Private Hire Vehicles carrying any other colour plate, or not carrying a plate at all are not licensed by Milton Keynes Council.
Do not get into a Private Hire Vehicle unless you’ve booked it in advance. It is illegal for drivers of Private Hire Vehicles to ply for trade and pick up passengers who haven’t pre-booked – and they won’t be insured for the journey. Only drivers of Hackney Carriages are permitted (and insured!) to carry passengers who have hailed them on the street or at a taxi rank.
All taxi drivers are issued with an ID card (their Operators Badge), which must be on display at all times either on their person or at the front of the vehicle where it can be seen by passengers. If you cannot see the driver’s ID card then ask them to show it to you – if they can’t, or won’t then do not get in the vehicle!
When booking a Private Hire Vehicle to collect you (especially when out for the evening) ask for the driver’s name, and the make and colour of the car. When the car arrives ask for the driver’s name and company and the name of the passenger they have come to collect. Always check the driver’s ID card. Then check its BLUE taxi licence plate that must be displayed at the rear of the vehicle. If there is no taxi licence plate on display or if it is out of date or if the details on it do not match the vehicle, then do not get in – walk away and arrange for another taxi no matter how much inconvenience this causes you.
- Make a note of the Private Hire Company you are using, and its telephone number, and if possible leave it with a friend.
- If you are travelling alone in a taxi, sit in the back seat behind the driver.
- If you feel uneasy at any point, ask to be let out in a well-lit area where there are a lot of people.
- If you have any doubts about using a particular taxi, make an excuse and do not get into the vehicle.
Do not hesitate to report any incident where a driver has been rude or made you feel uncomfortable and the incident cannot be classed as trivial. Make a note of the driver’s name and the taxi licence plate details then complain to the council taxi licensing team on 01908 253599. Please note that you can only complain to the council licensing team if the taxi and driver in question are licensed by Milton Keynes Council.
- Make sure you have something to eat before a night out – never drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
- Drink water regularly before, during and after a night out.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water, and use mixers to dilute your drinks.
- Decide in advance how much you are going to drink and stick to your limit.
- Avoid ‘rounds’ – they can encourage you to drink more than you want to.
- Have something to eat during the evening – this helps to slow down alcohol absorption.
- Both men and women are at risk of having their drink ‘spiked’ (this is when drugs or extra alcohol are added to your drink without your knowledge).
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.
- Plan your night out before you go out. Think about how you are going to get home. Ask a family member or friend to pick you up, or pre-book a licensed taxi.
- During the night, keep an eye on your mates. Stick together so that you can look after each other.
- Make sure that your cash, mobile phone and personal items are not on display.
- Always leave a club or pub with a friend or group of friends. Let someone know where you are and what time you’ll get home.
- Arrange a lift home with a family member, husband, wife, partner, or a friend. You could also stay over at a friend’s house.
- If no-one you know can pick you up, call a reliable, licensed taxi service.
- Before you get in a taxi, check the name of the person they have come to collect and the destination. Don’t volunteer the information first.
- If you do use public transport to get home, try to sit near the driver. Don’t sit on an empty upper deck. If someone pesters you, tell the driver or guard – they can get help by radio, phone or alarm if necessary.
- Avoid walking alone at night. If you have no choice, stick to busy well-lit areas.
- Avoid dark pathways, alleyways, subways and car parks. Avoid dimly-lit and deserted areas.
Please consider the crime prevention advice below to make sure that you keep your cash cards safe.
- Use cash machines during the daytime if possible. It is best to use a well-lit cash point. Avoid dimly-lit and deserted areas.
- Always shield your Personal Identification Number (PIN) when entering it.
- Make sure that you put your card and cash away quickly – don’t keep them on display.
- Never write down your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
- Note down your debit and credit card details so that you can cancel them quickly if they’re stolen or lost.
Please consider the crime prevention advice below to make sure that you’re using your mobile phone safely.
- Keep your phone out of sight when in public places.
- Use any security features that are built in to the phone, such as additional security codes.
- Only give your number to family, and to friends that you trust.
- If your plans change, send a new text to keep people updated on where you are.
- If alone, set your phone to vibrate so that it doesn’t attract attention.
- If you take a lift or taxi, text the registration number to someone that you trust.
- Most phones allow 999 calls even if you have no credit left or have the keypad locked.
- Dial *#06# for your phone’s serial number and keep this in a safe place.
- Consider putting a GPS tracker app on your phone.
Register your phone at www.immobilise.com/index.php
Every year the SaferMK Partnership urges people to be sensible and stay safe near open water, especially during the summer holidays when warmer weather might make it tempting to take a dip in a lake, river or canal. SaferMK are advising the only safe place to bathe is in a supervised swimming pool.
People should remember that:
- 60% of all drowning incidents occur in canals, lakes and rivers.
- You can drown in just a few centimetres of water.
- If you fall or jump into the water, the cold will shock your body, making your muscles seize up so you can’t move.
- You could easily cut yourself on rubbish or rocks and you may become ill due to bacteria in the water.
- There are lots of weeds, rubbish and other items under the water you cannot see which you can get caught on.
Dog walkers are also urged to be more careful and not allow their dogs and pets to enter the water as they can get into difficulty which can lead to owners entering in after them and putting their own lives in danger. In most cases animals are able to get out on their own accord.
If you see someone putting themselves at risk in open water or an animal has entered the water and is unable to get out, call Thames Valley Police on 101 or in an emergency call 999.
Buckinghamshire Fire and and Rescue Service has produced a reminder to the risks.
In this section you will find useful links to information from the home office in regards to fire safety in the home, outdoors and also advice for those who have sight, hearing and mobility issues.
Information is also available from the Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.
- Fire safety for people with sight, hearing or mobility issues
- Fire safety in the home
- Fire safety in shared or rented accommodation
- Fire safety for parents and child carers
- Fire safety in the winter
- Fire safety outdoors
- Fire safety when celebrating
- Fire safety on boats
- Fire safety tips for Christmas
- Fire safety for Gypsies and Travellers
Last Updated: 19 October 2020