Mugging & Theft
There's no need to walk around petrified of being mugged but it is worth being careful.
Your safety needs to be your priority
What are the chances?
Most people overestimate the chances of being mugged or having something nicked. That said, theft from a person was on the increase in 2012, mostly due to a rising number of phone thefts.
How to prevent it
Keep your valuables close to you and out of sight (think twice about using your headphones with your smart phone - it will distract you from what's going on around you).
Avoid walking the streets or using public transport alone at night. Even if you're in a group, stick to well-lit areas and neighbourhoods that you know.
If it happens to you
Most people think they know how they'd react in the situation, but often it happens very quickly, and the shock can throw you off guard.
Your safety needs to be your priority, so if you do have time to react, retilating or putting up a fighting is often not the best option. Do whatever's going to leave you with as little injury as possible - even if that means giving the attacker what they want.
- Tell someone, preferably the police and your parents.
- If you're mugged or see someone being mugged, dial 999. Even if you can't remember much, it could mean the difference between the mugger being caught or getting away with it.
- If it's too late for that, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You won't have to give your name, go to the police station, give a statement or go to court.
- If your phone's stolen, get it blocked asap.
- Cancel any stolen bank cards.
- Get your parents to change the locks on your house if your keys have been nicked.
- Go to hospital or your doctors to have any injuries treated and documented (necessary if you're owed compensation).
BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.