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.

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: 10 July 2017

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