Preventing crime

How to keep you and your property safe, protecting your car or van, safety on the internet, protecting your business, getting involved with your neighbourhood watch group. Explains what farm and pub watch is, how we help victims, your area, about prisons and the types of prisons, rehabilitating prisoners and support for people at risk of radicalisation.

How do I keep my property safe?

The best way to cut the risk of becoming a victim of crime is to take sensible precautions.

The leaflet below provides general advice on the following:

  • being a good neighbour
  • what anti-social behaviour is
  • what is a crime
  • crime prevention advice
  • contact details.

Need the leaflet in another language? Please see the translated versions of the document below:

You can find further basic tips on keeping yourself and your property safe below.

Help secure your home

The following word document summarises crime prevention advice to help secure your home.

Crime prevention advice (pdf 29kb)

Further crime prevention advice can be found on the Crime Prevention website below:

The Crime Prevention Website (external website)

Crime prevention advice for students

Student houses and halls of residence can be particular targets for crime. Thieves know that there are likely to be a number of valuable items inside. If you keep your:

  • laptop

  • mobile phone

  • camera, or

  • games console like PlayStation and Xbox

or other valuable items in your room, make sure to follow these guidelines to keep them safe:

  • Lock your door in halls, even if you are only going down the corridor
  • Make sure that main entrance doors shut behind you and don't let other people in with you
  • Make sure security measures are in place if you are renting in a shared house
  • Get home contents insurance. You may be able to extend your parents' home insurance policy for no extra cost. Alternatively, many insurance companies have competitive deals for students. Remember that you are likely to have many more electronic goods (computers, stereos, TVs etc) than most households
  • During Christmas and summer holidays, when it is likely your house will be empty for a long time, implement additional security measures, e.g. putting a timer on lights. Also, see if someone will be around to check on things. Student areas/villages are particular targets for the holiday-time burglar
  • Put your mobile phone, wallet, iPod or camera in a zipped-up pocket or in a zipped-up bag.

If any of your property is stolen, the police have a better chance of finding it and returning it to you if it is security marked. The leaflet on the link below tells you how you can do this.

Mark it or miss it leaflet (pdf 1mb)

Safe from a fire at home and during recreation time

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is committed to reducing the number of fires, fire deaths, and injuries. Their website provides useful information on keeping safe from fire at home and during recreation time.

Humberside fire and rescue service - community safety (external website)

How can I apply to get home security equipment fitted under the Safe and Sound Grant scheme?

The council provide grants to some people from the Safe and Sound Grant Fund to help them stay safe in their own home

Safe and Sound Grant Fund Criteria (pdf 154kb)

In order to receive a grant, applicants must be:

  • aged over 60 or disabled

  • a homeowner or private sector tenant/Housing Association tenant.

In addition, applicants must not have combined household capital/savings* of more than £23,250 and an application to the fund must not have been made by the applicant in the last two years.

*Capital/savings excludes the property you live in, fixtures and fittings within the property, and vehicles you own.

If you wish to apply to the fund please complete the application form below:

Safe and Sound Application Form (pdf 110kb)

If you live in a rented property you must also get your landlord to complete the attached landlord consent form:

Safe and Sound Landlord Consent Form (pdf 110kb)

Completed forms need to be returned to us at or to

Safe Communities Team
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
County Hall
Cross Street
East Riding of Yorkshire
HU17 9BA.

or make an appointment to hand it in to a Customer Service Centre.

How do I keep myself safe?

The risk of becoming a victim of crime is very low, but the best way to cut the risk is by taking sensible precautions. Find out:

  • how to stay safe when you're out and about
  • how to stay safe when using taxis
  • what to do if you are attacked
  • what you should do after an attack
  • what men can do to make women feel safer.

Staying safe when you’re out and about

Walking alone in the dark

If you often walk home in the dark, make sure you:

  • get a personal attack alarm from a DIY shop and carry it in your hand so you can use it immediately to scare off an attacker. Make sure it is designed to continue sounding if it's dropped or falls to the ground

  • carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards

What if someone tries to grab my bag? Let it go. If you hang on, you could get hurt. Your safety is more important than your property.

  • carry your house keys in your pocket
  • don't take short-cuts through dark alleys, parks or across waste ground
  • walk facing the traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you unnoticed.

Being followed

If you think someone is following you, cross the street (more than once if necessary). If they also cross at the same points, they might be following you.

Do you still think they're following you? Get to the nearest place where there are other people like:

  • a pub
  • a takeaway restaurant
  • or anywhere with a lot of lights on.

Then call the Police.

Avoid using an enclosed phone box in the street, as the follower could trap you inside.

Jogging and cycling alone

If you regularly go jogging or cycling, make sure you:

  • stick to well-lit roads with pavements

  • keep to main paths and open spaces where you can see and be seen by other people

  • avoid wooded areas.

Listening to music? Remember you can't hear traffic or somebody approaching behind you.

Using taxis

There are many reputable mini-cab or private hire car companies, but these must be booked either at their office or by phone. Make sure you:

  • keep the number of a reliable firm handy, and
  • avoid mini-cabs or private hire cars that tout for business.

Before getting in

If you are going to be out late book a taxi before you leave home or try to arrange a lift home.

When booking a taxi ask for a description of the car, including make and model. Check the taxi matches the description when it arrives. If you gave your name when you booked, check that the driver can tell you it before you get in.

Don't feel safe? Don't get in. Call and book with another company instead.

When you're inside a taxi

Always sit behind the driver and check his driver identification.

Don't feel safe? If you feel uneasy for any reason, ask to be let out in a well-lit area where there are plenty of people.

When you get home

Ask the driver to wait until you are inside before driving off.

If you are attacked

Preparing yourself for all possibilities could provide a split second advantage.

If someone threatens you

Shout and scream for help and set off your personal attack alarm if you have one. This may unnerve the attacker and frighten him off.

If it does not, throw the attack alarm away from you. The attacker will want the alarm to stop and go to pick it up, this is your chance to escape.

How can I defend myself

You have every right to defend yourself with reasonable force and with items which you have with you like an umbrella, hairspray or keys


it is against the law to carry anything which can be described as an offensive weapon.

After an attack

Assaults and rapes are serious crimes, whether committed by a stranger or someone you know. Call the police straight away. They need your help to catch the attacker. You can help the police by:

  • taking the name or address of any witnesses
  • trying to remember exactly what the attacker looked like
  • if a car was involved, try to note the colour, model and registration number
  • you do not need to go to the police station to report an assault, you can be interviewed in your own home if you wish. These crimes are dealt with sympathetically, regardless of sex. Police stations have specially trained officers who will help and support you, and many areas have comfortable victim suites, separate from the police station, where you can be interviewed privately
  • although your immediate reaction will be to wash, try not to if you can possibly help it. It will destroy vital medical evidence that will help prove the case against the person who raped or assaulted you
  • should your case come to trial, by law, your anonymity will be guaranteed if you are female, or under 18 years old. The law forbids newspapers to publish anything that might identify you. Also, as a general rule, you should not be asked about your previous sexual history in court
  • if the violence is within your family, legal protection is possible under either civil or criminal law. In some cases, for example, they can require a partner not to enter your home or even your neighbourhood. Further information is available on the domestic violence adult services page.

Making women feel safer

Men can help by taking the issue of women's safety seriously in their everyday lives. Bear these points in mind:

  • If you are walking in the same direction as a woman on her own, don't walk behind her, this may worry her. Cross the road and walk on the other side. This may reassure her that you are not following her
  • If you are thinking of chatting to a woman waiting, for example, at a lonely bus stop, remember that she won't know you mean no harm
  • Realise how threatening actions such as staring, whistling, passing comments and jostling can be, particularly when you are one of a group of men.

How do I keep myself and my family safe on the Internet?

You can find advice on keeping yourself and your family safe on the following websites.

The Government and leading businesses have launched a website called get safe online which offers advice around shopping online.

Get safe online - shop online safely (external website)

There is also a website specifically designed for young people called ‘think u know’ which offers safety advice when using chat rooms, social media and the Internet.

‘Think u know’ (external website)

Further information on fraud awareness from our video and podcast

The council's Safe Communities team used funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to produce a British Sign language ‘signed’ video and for those with sight impairments, and a podcast to allow more residents to access fraud awareness information.

To our partners who worked hard to produce this initiative we would like to thank Devan Witter, BOOST Training and Fraud Watch Project coordinator from Community Vision, Sarah Regan, Residential Manager of Hull and East Yorkshire Centre for the Deaf, Darren Spires, Director of Creative Projects Ltd and John Harding, Managing Director at Great Yorkshire Radio.


Fraud Watch - Videos and resources/


Fraud Awareness Podcast

How do I keep my car, van or cycle safe?

Cars and vans

The risk of damage to your vehicle can be reduced if you follow a few, simple steps at:

Car and Van Crime Prevention (external website)


Cycles are used by lots of people for exercise, going to the shops or work or going out with their friends. It is important that cycles are kept safe as they can be an easy target for thieves. Information on the link below provides useful advice on how you can keep your cycle safe.

Cycle leaflet (pdf 208kb)

How do I protect my business?

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service's vision is to improve people’s lives by working with our partners to make our communities safer places to live. The information provided below is aimed at improving your safety at work.

Business safety

The Humberside Fire and Rescue Service website offers useful advice on keeping your workplace safe from fire and provides information to assist you in meeting the requirements of the regulations.

The Humberside Fire and Rescue a website also provides links to government websites that provide further information on the regulations. You can also download the fire risk assessment guidance document from the website and use it to assess your workplace’s level of fire safety:

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service - safety law (external website)

Unwanted fire alarms

False alarms are a nuisance to both businesses and the Fire Service. They cost businesses time and money and divert the Fire Service from dealing with genuine emergency calls and carrying out effective Community Fire Safety work. They also put members of the public and firefighters at unnecessary risk. The Humberside Fire and Rescue website offers further information on how to reduce the number of false alarms from your premises:

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service - unwanted fire signals (external website)

Further information

You can contact the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service by visiting their online contact page. You can also use this to request further information regarding fire safety or any other issue regarding the Fire Service:

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service - contact (external website)

How do I reduce the risk of getting my heating oil stolen?

Some houses in rural parts of the East Riding use oil-fueled central heating systems. On occasions, thieves will target these remote locations and try and drain fuel from tanks kept outside. Whilst the number of thefts is very low, we do not want you to be a victim.

The leaflet available via the link below gives you a few tips on how you can keep your oil tank safe:

Heating oil theft leaflet (pdf 360kb)

I am having problems with my ten-foot/alley, what can I do?

If the alley is privately owned you should read the Guide to Gating Private Alleyways Guide below, which sets out what you need to do and provides helpful contact details:

Gating Private Alleyways Guide (pdf 368kb)

If the alley forms part of the highway or is publicly owned, you should contact the anti-social behaviour team:

Tel: (01482) 396380


An officer will then explain what action we can take. Before gating a public highway, all other options for tackling crime or anti-social behaviour in the area will be considered.

How can I get involved in a Neighbourhood Watch group?

Information on what 'Neighbourhood Watch' groups are, where current groups are in the East Riding and how to set up a new group, is available on the Neighbourhood Watch groups page.

What is Farm Watch?

What are the main aims of the Farm Watch scheme?

  • To reduce local opportunities for crime and vandalism
  • To reinforce the community spirit so that everyone can contribute towards the protection of their property by mutual cooperation and communication
  • To introduce early warning systems in farming and countryside areas
  • To improve the intelligence flow between the countryside communities and the police
  • Reduce poaching.

What are the advantages of a farm watch?

  • A reduction in crime and the fear of crime impacting on the community
  • Suspicious people and vehicles can quickly be reported to the police and other members of the countryside communities
  • Information and advice can quickly and efficiently be circulated between the police and the community
  • A crime vigilant community in partnership with the police will create a safer environment
  • Gain valuable intelligence about the poaching fraternity.

Practical advice non-confrontation

  • Restrict access by four-wheel drive vehicles by securing gates, digging shallow trenches with a JCB where access would otherwise be easily gained
  • Maintain hedges and the fences on your property. Keep the roadside hedges high
  • Cull your own deer population
  • Work with the police and with neighbours to organise night-time patrols
  • Observe any suspicious activity calmly and discreetly, giving you the best possible chance of gathering the information and reporting what you see quickly and accurately. If possible, record the poaching activity
  • Log vehicle registration numbers accurately
  • Contact Farm Watch and the neighbourhood policing team.

Lamping is a method of hunting animals at night using high-powered lights, spotlights, lamps or flashlights, that makes special use of the eyeshine revealed by many animal species. If you decide to go 'lamping' you must log that you are going on 101. Remember to phone back when you have finished.

How to join your local Farm Watch in the East Riding

Contact your local neighbourhood policing team who will put you in touch with your nearest Farm Watch group.

What is Pubwatch?

The Pubwatch Scheme is a voluntary group made up of licensees and other organisation representatives within the East Riding. The main aim of local Pubwatch Schemes is to promote best practice through supporting other members of the group and to create a safer drinking environment for customers by keeping trouble causers and illegal drugs out of licensed premises.

The local Pubwatch Scheme groups meet regularly to discuss incidents that have occurred in and around their premises. The licensees then decide what action to take against any identified offenders. The usual penalty is a ban from all participating licensed premises.

The length of ban will depend on the circumstances and severity of the incident. For minor incidents of bad behaviour, the licensees can decide to send a warning letter to the offender warning them that any repetition of that behaviour will result in them being banned, or hand down a suspended ban were the ban will take immediate effect if any further bad behaviour occurs.

These meetings often have representatives from Humberside Police, the Licensing Authority or other public sector bodies to offer advice and guidance to licensees on offering a safe and welcoming night time economy.

How do we help victims of crime?

You may be feeling shocked, sad, distressed, or angry, following a crime. These feelings are common. Victim support volunteers are specially trained to help you through this experience and to provide you with practical help and information.

The police automatically tell victim support about all cases of:

  • burglary
  • theft
  • criminal damage
  • arson
  • assault (other than domestic violence)
  • and racial harassment.

If you don't want this to happen, tell the police officer dealing with your case. If you have suffered other violent crimes (including sexual crimes or domestic violence), you will be asked if you wish to be referred to victim support. You can contact them yourself at a later date if you prefer.

As resources are limited, victims whose cars are stolen or vandalised will not normally be referred to victim support. If you need help, tell the police officer in your case or contact victim support direct, which helps residents of the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North and North East Lincolnshire cope with the effects of crime. We do this by providing confidential support and information to victims of crime and to witnesses attending local courts.

The victim support website provides further information on available support for victim sufferers and their office locations.

Victim support - help for victims (external website)

Alternatively, you can contact the victim care team on 0300 303 1971, available Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm. Their services are free, independent of the police and courts, and available to everyone, whether or not the crime has been reported and regardless of when it happened.

Where can I find the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements annual report?

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) was established over 10 years ago, ensuring a successful partnership approach bound by statute to manage the risks presented by violent, sexual and potentially dangerous offenders to the public.

This approach is led by Probation, Police, Local Authority, Health, Accommodation Providers, Youth Justice Service, Lay Advisers, Fire and Rescue Services, Children's Services, and many other key stakeholders and provides work together on a daily basis to meet the adverse challenges and threats to protecting the public, individuals, children and communities in Humberside.

MAPPA Annual Reports

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