Personal safety

The Northern Territory (NT) is a place where most people feel safe - but the unexpected can happen. 

A few simple precautions can improve your personal safety and make life in the NT more secure.

Out at night

Walking home alone after dark, even a short distance, makes you vulnerable.

Avoid it any way you can. Walk with friends, take a taxi, call a minibus or arrange a lift.

Don’t put yourself at risk. Remember, alcohol makes you more confident but less competent.

Find out more about staying safe while out and drinking at the NT government's Got the Moves website.

On the street

When out on the street you should:

  • stay alert, walk confidently, and know where you are heading
  • go to a well-lit area if you feel unsafe
  • make sure friends know where you are going and when you plan to return
  • walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic
  • carry a personal safety alarm or mobile phone
  • keep the volume of your headphones at a level that you can still hear what is happening around you
  • avoid overgrown areas, blind corners, and places where someone could hide
  • be wary of anyone, particularly in a car, who asks for directions or tries to engage you in conversation
  • not carry cash or valuables, if possible
  • carry any bag on the side furthest from the road and don’t let the bag or straps hang loosely
  • keep valuable items such as you mobile phone out of sight.

If you are harassed take a note of:

  • the person’s appearance and clothes
  • what their vehicle looks like, if any
  • their vehicle's number plate, if possible.

You should report the matter to police as soon as you can.

On the bus

When on the bus you should:

  • know the timetables so you don’t have to wait long
  • at night, choose well-lit stops near other people, if possible
  • carry a mobile phone, spare change or a phone card for emergencies
  • sit near the bus driver if there are only one or two other passengers
  • alert the driver or contact police if the behaviour of others is offensive or illegal
  • complain loudly to draw attention to yourself if you are harassed or threatened
  • arrange to be picked up after dark if there is distance between the stop and home
  • keep any personal belongings secure.

On the road

When on the road you should:

  • service your vehicle regularly and check your fuel gauge before travelling
  • keep a torch, pen and paper in your car
  • have your car keys ready when approaching your vehicle
  • check for people loitering when entering or leaving your vehicle
  • keep windows up and doors locked
  • don’t stop to help others who wave you down if you’re alone and there is no traffic
  • never pick up hitchhikers
  • ignore others driving aggressively
  • not leave valuables inside the car where they can be seen
  • not leave your vehicle if you have an accident and if others involved are aggressive - exchange details through a partly opened window with your doors locked
  • put your hazard lights on, raise the bonnet and stay in your car if it breaks down - don’t accept a lift from passers-by and stay with your vehicle until help arrives
  • consider joining the Automobile Association of the Northern Territory (AANT) for roadside assistance.

At the shops

When out shopping you should:

  • keep cash and valuables concealed
  • not leave your purse, wallet, bags or valuables in the shopping trolley
  • be alert to people loitering nearby
  • keep an eye on your bag while loading shopping into your car
  • keep your bag close to you - don't wrap the straps around your wrist
  • draw attention to yourself by protesting loudly if your bag is grabbed - note the appearance of the offender and contact police.

At the ATM

When using an ATM you should:

  • not let people see you enter your PIN
  • avoid using ATMs in isolated or dark locations
  • count your cash out of sight of others
  • memorise your PIN
  • hit 'cancel', withdraw your card and walk away if you feel unsafe or that you’re being watched.

Last updated: 19 April 2016