For our latest safety information, see the Be Safe, Feel Safe booklet.
Walking alone at night
- Where possible, always keep to well-lit areas.
- Keep bags containing valuables, wallets, purses etc close to your body
- Keep your cell phone where you can reach it.
- Walk close to the gutter, not beside shop doorways.
- Walk facing the traffic.
If you think someone is following you
- Keep looking ahead and walk briskly.
- Cross the road and see if they follow.
- If they do, go to the nearest place where there are people.
- Call 111 and ask for Police.
If a driver stops and asks you for directions
- Be polite but stay out of reach.
- If you don’t trust them, walk away quickly in the opposite direction.
- Don’t accept a lift from a stranger.
What to do if you are attacked
Try to escape and get to safety. Then call 111 and ask for Police.
Unless it is absolutely necessary to defend yourself to avoid harm, the best thing to do is to move away, avoid a confrontation, call Police and provide them with a good description.
You may use force to defend yourself, but force needs to be reasonable. Self-defence skills need to be practiced and you can do this by taking part in a self-defence course.
The law relating to self-defence
“Everyone is justified in using, in the defence of himself or another, such force as, in the circumstances as he believes them to be, it is reasonable to use.” (Section 48 of the Crimes Act 1961.)
This means you are allowed to defend yourself from attack, but use your common sense. The idea is to defend yourself, not to cause injury or get revenge. If you use unreasonable force, you are committing a crime.
Your first concern should always be for your own safety and that of others with you. Never take the law into your own hands or take unnecessary risks.
Keep safe in your car
- Park in well-lit, busy areas.
- Always lock your parked car.
- Keep windows up and doors locked when you’re driving.
- Don’t pick up hitchhikers, especially if you’re travelling alone.
- If other motorists seem to be in trouble, think carefully before you stop and help.
- If people try to block your way, drive on slowly and carefully and keep the doors locked.
- If your own car breaks down, sit inside it with the doors locked. If you have a cell phone you can call a friend or AA Roadside assistance – call 0800 500 222 or *222 from your mobile. Roadside assistance is available to AA members, or can you pay and join over the phone from the roadside.
- If other motorists offer you a lift, talk to them through a slightly opened window.
- Only if you feel safe, take a lift to a place with people and lights, such as a service station.
Keep safe when travelling
SAFE (7233) is a free text message service. This service is not monitored nor intended as a substitute for written Outdoor Intentions.
The service is not a substitute for 111, which you should always call in an emergency.
When going into the outdoors, plan and prepare for a safe trip by following the five simple rules of New Zealand’s outdoor safety code (AdventureSmart website, PDF, 444 KB).
Always tell someone your plans. Complete your Outdoors Intentions before you leave. You can use the AdventureSmart tools to let a trusted friend or family member know where you are going and a date and time they should raise the alarm if you haven’t returned. For more information visit the AdventureSmart website.
About SAFE (7233)
The SAFE (7233) text message service is provided to anyone wishing to record their travel intentions within New Zealand. The service is provided free by Spark NZ and 2degrees Mobile Ltd. 2degrees Mobile customers can also use the service overseas.
Messages are not monitored, but are stored for 12 months and can be retrieved later on request by Police if necessary to assist in the location of a person. Messages include the date and time the message was sent. The databases store text messages only, not pxt or video.
People using the service intend Police to have access to the database if required. This means there are no privacy implications for investigating Police requesting access to the txt messages, or for Spark NZ and 2degrees Mobile providing the text messages to Police.
From the perspective of the Spark NZ or 2degrees Mobile customer, the service appears to be integrated. However, for technical reasons Spark NZ and 2degrees Mobile maintain their own databases for messages texted to SAFE (7233). Should Police want to view a message left by a missing person, it is necessary to know their mobile phone number to establish whether they are with Spark NZ or 2degrees Mobile.
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