Safety & Crime
Staying safe when you’re out and about
- If you often walk home in the dark, get a personal attack alarm from a DIY store. 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.
- Carry your house keys in your pocket.
- If someone grabs your bag, let it go. If you hang on, you could get hurt. Remember your safety is more important than your property.
- If you think someone is following you, check by crossing the street – more than once if necessary – to see if they follow. If you are still worried, get to the nearest place where there are other people – a pub or anywhere with a lot of lights on – and call the police.
- If you regularly go jogging or cycling, try to vary your route and time. Stick to well-lit roads with pavements. On commons and parklands, keep to main paths and open spaces where you can see and be seen by other people – avoid wooded areas. If you wear a personal stereo, remember you can’t hear traffic, or somebody approaching behind you.
- Avoid taking late night short-cuts through dark alleys or parks. Walk facing the traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you unnoticed.
- If a car stops and you are threatened, shout and set off your personal attack alarm if you have one. Get away as quickly as you can. This will gain you vital seconds and make it more difficult for the car driver to follow.
- If you can, make a mental note of the number and description of the car. Write down details as soon as possible afterwards.
- Don’t hitch-hike or take lifts from strangers.
- Only use licensed taxis. Ensure the driver is wearing their driver’s badge and make sure that the vehicle displays a white plate at the rear of the vehicle.
- When booking a private hire vehicle pre book and agree the fare when booking. Make sure you’re entering the correct vehicle and confirm the booking with the driver who should be wearing a badge. If you have any doubt that the taxi is legitimate don’t get into the vehicle.
Reporting Crimes and Incidents
CALL 999 in an emergency where:
- There is a risk of serious injury
- There is a risk of serious damage to property
- You suspect a crime is in progress
- A serious incident needs immediate police attention
If it is a non-emergency
- call the Police on 101
- call into any police station
It is important to remind yourself that you are not to blame. Nothing that you have done can make a person rape or sexually assault you. You are not responsible for someone else’s actions. There is help and support locally which is listed below with more information at the end of the page.
Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre
OSARCC are a collective of women committed to supporting survivors of sexual abuse, rape, domestic abuse, and harassment who offer a free and confidential service to women and girls who are dealing with the effects of sexual violence, and to anyone who is supporting them.
If you would like to receive support by email, please contact:
Telephone Listening Service: 01865 726295 or 0800 7836294
Sunday 6pm – 8.30pm
Monday 6.30pm – 9pm
Thursday 6.30pm – 9pm
Last Friday of every month 11.30am – 2pm
“Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation are hate crimes and should be reported to the police”. (source Gov.uk)
A hate crime or incident is any act that is motivated by a hostility or prejudice towards a specific part of someone’s identity. In the case of the LGBT+ community, this means any act of hostility towards a person’s sexuality or gender identity. It does not matter whether the individual in fact identifies themselves as within any of these groups – it can simply become hate-related if it is based upon a person’s perceived sexuality or gender identity.
Hate crimes can include:
- threatening behaviour
- damage to property
- inciting others to commit hate crimes
LGBT+ Hate Crime in Thames Valley
The following figures cover both Crimes and Incidents within the Thames Valley*.
03/03/15 – 02/03/16
03/03/16 – 01/03/17
*Data Source-Thames Valley Police
Please note that ‘’Thames Valley’ total includes all of the TVP areas (Oxford, Bracknell, Woking, Reading, Slough, Milton Keynes, Banbury etc)
Whilst the increase in Transphobic Crimes and Incidents is unwelcome, it could be due to a couple of factors – There could actually be more transphobic crimes & incidents occurring in the Oxfordshire area compared to last year, or that the Trans community in Oxfordshire is now more confident in reporting such incidents. There are many ways to read a set of figures, but we almost expect the levels of recorded crime and incidents to increase as we work with and gain trust from the LGBT+ communities – this can lead to more crimes and incidents being reported to us whereas previously there may have been a reluctance to do so.
Types of incidents
Verbal abuse – any kind of offensive or derogatory language; e.g. name calling in the street because you are holding hands with your same sex partner, or coming out of a LGBT venue
- Harassment – abusive phone calls, hate mail, online bullying
- Physical abuse – any act of violence or threat of violence can constitute a hate-motivated assault (i.e. kicking, spitting, punching, slapping)
- Criminal damage – this could include vandalism or graffiti to your home or vehicle
If the incident constitutes a criminal offence it becomes a ‘hate crime’. Hate crimes can carry tougher sentences at court.
- The police take these kinds of reports very seriously, however they are still massively under-reported. Even if the incident doesn’t constitute a crime, there are still things the police or local agencies can do to help, whether it be to support you or safeguard others from similar incidents. The police are keen to understand hate crime in the local area in order to better deal with it.
How to report
If you think you have been a victim or you have any information about a hate crime or incident, make sure you report it. You can do so in a number of ways:
Via the police
- Online – via the Thames Valley Police website
- Phone – always call 999 in an emergency if there is a crime in progress or there is serious risk of immediate harm to life or property.
- Call 101 to speak with the Police for any other incidents not dealt with by 999
If you wish, you can request to speak with a LAGLO+ (Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officer). A LAGLO+ is a police officer or member of police staff who has specialist training in, and a specific understanding of, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and also binary/non-binary, intersex, asexual and other issues. This expert knowledge and understanding offers a critical additional resource not only to Thames Valley Police but also theLGBT+ communities and individuals.
Embracing and considering all aspects of policing, the role is designed to assist the maximization of service delivery opportunities to improve confidence, trust and communication between Thames Valley Police and LGBT+ communities and individuals.
There is a demand for LAGLO+ assistance across the Thames Valley Police area so, if you would like to get in contact with your local LAGLO+, please call Thames Valley Police on 101 and ask to be connected.
Note that whilst anyone can call and request to speak to a LAGLO+ Officer, any ‘Non-LAGLO+’ Officer will equally be able to assist with the query / report. The LAGLO+ Officers are there not only to assist the public but also assist non-LAGLO+ Officers too, offering help and advice to the investigation if required. It is not mandatory for a LAGLO+ Officer to be involved in (the investigation of) every LGBT+ incident reported to us, but are there to assist when necessary / appropriate.
Reporting Crimes and Incidents – call 999 in an emergency where
- – There is a risk of serious injury
- – There is a risk of serious damage to property
- – You suspect a crime is in progress
- – It is a serious incident which needs immediate police attention
Reporting Crimes and Incidents – if it is a non-emergency
- – call the police on 101
- – call into any police station
Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers
LAGLOs are available specifically to help LGBT+ victims in Oxfordshire.
Call 101 and request a “LAGLO+”.
- Call 999Emergency: 999
- Call 101Non-Emergency: 101
Services, Organisations & Contacts
Third-party reporting options
Preventing and challenging homophobic and transphobic crime. Also hosts the LGBT+ domestic abuse support line.
Provides information, support and counselling for men who have been raped or sexually abused.
Call 020 3598 3898 or 020 3598 3898
The Thames Valley Independent Sexual Violence Advisory service supports anyone living in Thames Valley who has experienced, or is at risk of experiencing, sexual assault or rape.
Call 0800 221 8186 or 0800 221 8186
Thames Valley Alert
Thames Valley Alert provides free information about crimes, crime reduction advice, appeals for witnesses, police information and meetings related to the neighbourhood in which you live or work. You can receive alerts by email, text or voice message.
An independent charity helping law enforcement to locate criminals and help solve crimes.
Call 0800 555 111 or 0800 555 111
Victim Support is an independent charity that supports victims of crime, people who have attended court as witnesses and their families and friends. The support is free and confidential.
Call 0808 1689 1110808 1689 111