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Keeping safe when out and about

As you move towards becoming an adult you will naturally have more choice about the things you do and where you go. This might include socialising in spaces shared with adults and attending events such as parties, concerts and festivals, without supervision from a parent or carer. You will also have more freedom around travelling alone and the distance you can be away from home.

It is important you understand how to keep yourself safe when out at new or crowded places and at night.

It will be helpful for to know the risks around certain situations and take steps to protect yourself and this way you will be able to enjoy your social activities and new found independence safely.

Also remember the importance of keeping safe online by protecting your identity and personal information and being aware of the law around sharing intimate images (sexting). 

Remember criminals often target people online for financial scams or to exploit them, do not share any details of you location with people you have met online

What you can do to help

  • Communicate - make sure you tell someone where you are going and agree a time frame for keeping in touch and getting in. Make clear plans with friends and stay together, don’t let anyone in your group get left alone and take shared responsibility for staying safe.  Make sure your mobile phone is charged or take a power pack with you.
  • Travel - plan ahead, check bus and train schedules ahead of your plans, use a map or location app to understand where you will be going and directions. Have a back-up plan, if your travel plans fail (this could be an alternative method of transport, or an agreement with a parent/carer about how you would manage this e.g. being picked up, staying at a friends or taxi services. If you are planning to travel abroad, make sure you are familiar with the local area, rules, regulations, laws and customs of the country to plan to visit.
  • Be aware! Whilst most of your social activities will be fun and problem free, it is important to bear in mind that busy, crowded, unfamiliar places can bring potential threats. Things such as crime, pickpocketing, theft and robbery can happen more easily. Keep your belongings safe, valuables out of sight and be mindful of people around you. Try to keep in areas with good street lighting and avoid being in isolated areas.
  • Take extra care around railways, busy roads, rivers and canals and don’t accept lifts from people you don’t know or people who have consumed alcohol or drugs. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and that you can protect yourself from sun, rain or cold.
  • Alcohol and drugs - you might be more likely to be exposed to substance use in some social situations, particularly if you are mixing in spaces intended for adults. Follow the link to our page on substance use for more information about the law and substances, the associated dangers and how to keep safe. Be aware of the dangers of drink spiking - more information in the links below.
  • Help in an emergency  - agree in advance who you will contact if you need help in a situation. Remember that in and emergency you should 999 for emergency services who will be able to direct the appropriate help towards you.

Keeping safe online

The internet is somewhere we are spending more and more of our time, especially younger people. It is full of interesting, entertaining, funny, and sometimes outright strange information and is also a great way to connect and share with friends, family and social media contacts. 

The reality is, it can also be a dangerous place and you should prioritise your safety online as much as you would when out and about mixing with people in public. 

Unfortunately, there are also criminals operating online who could try to steal from you, blackmail you or use your personal information to commit fraud. 

Online grooming refers to an adult pretending to be a child or younger person to engage another child or young person in sexual activity, sending inappropriate images or start a relationship with them. You should also be aware of the rules around sexting and sharing sexual images for under 18’s.

Cyberbullying is the online abuse or harassment of an individual. This can have really bad effects on health and happiness. Check out the link here to learn more Protecting children from bullying and cyberbullying.

It’s also worth thinking about how accurate the pages and images you see online are; and always question the credibility and trustworthiness of the information you access.

Remember your cyber footprint will be around for years so think carefully about the things you post which are linked to your identity, remember to be kind and polite on social media.

What you can do to help

  • Never share your password, log-in information or personal details (full name, address or date of birth) with people online.
  • Do not share your location with people you don’t know online, be careful about using location apps, like Snap Map or similar tracking apps and who can access this.
  • Never meet up with people you have only ever met on the internet.
  • Check the information you are accessing is from a ‘reputable source’ this means it’s been created by experts on that topic. Like the NHS for health information 😊.
  • If you see something online that worries you or think should not be there, you can learn how to report this here.
  • If you are receiving unwanted pictures or messages on social media know how to block them and speak to a trusted adult for advice.
  • You should also be aware of the rules around sexting and sharing sexual images for under 16’. Please see our relationships and sexual health page here.
  • Our sleep page has more information on screen time and how this can affect health.

Who can help?

For more advice about keeping safe speak to one of our team. You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation. **Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays**

Older children (aged 11-19) can ask advice from a school nurse by texting our confidential ChatHealth service on 07480 635 443.

Need more information?

  • Report Internet crime in Cambridgeshire

    If you're concerned about any images or videos you've seen on the internet or you're sent obscene material, please get in touch in any of these other ways:

    If you suspect someone is in immediate danger, call 999 now. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

    Call our non-emergency, 24/7 number: 101. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service on 18001 101.

    Report it online to us as soon as possible.

    Visit a police station to speak to an officer in person.

    Contact Crimestoppers confidentially and anonymously.

    Report it to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) or the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) who'll investigate and try to close any offending websites down.

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Delivering excellence in Children and Young People’s Services:
a partnership between Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

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