General English Level 5 V 3
UNIT 03 Be careful! TOPIC 03 Be prepared
Reading READING 02 Being prepared
Sophie picked up a pamphet from the library containing tips for reducing the risk of personal crime.

Read this page from the pamphlet.

Street crime, and how to avoid it

Avoiding bag snatchers
Bag snatching is when a thief suddenly grabs a victim's handbag or briefcase. Bag snatchers are opportunistic thieves - they use the element of surprise against people who are going about their normal daily business.

Reducing your risk
Being alert to your surroundings is an effective way of reducing your risk of become a bag snatcher's victim.

Street criminals look for easy victims and fast escape. Therefore the most important strategy you can use is to avoid looking like an easy target.

  • Be aware of your surroundings, and watch the other people on the street around you.
  • Carry your bag close to your body, or tuck it under your arm. You shouldn't let it swing from your arm or shoulder.
  • Keep your bag closed, and keep valuable items out of sight.
  • You shouldn't carry more cash or valuables than you need immediately.
  • Try to avoid walking close to moving cars - many bag snatchers operate from moving cars or motor cycles.
  • You shouldn't wrap your bag's straps around your wrist or arm - this increases the chance that you will be injured if you are attacked.

If you are robbed
Your best strategy if your bag is snatched is to remain calm, and avoid confronting the thief in any way.

  • If you are attacked by a street thief, don't resist. Don't try to hang on to your bag, because you could be injured (your life and health are more important than the contents of your bag).
  • Note the appearance of the thief, and try to get an accurate description. Try to note any special details of the thief's appearance, which you can tell police later.
  • Don't chase the thief.
  • Contact the police immediately.
  • If you are injured, call an ambulance immediately.

If you witness a street crime
You can help the victim of a crime in several ways, but you should not endanger yourself.

  • Call the police immediately.
  • Help the victim if you can do so safely. You shouldn't place yourself at risk of injury or attack.
  • If the victim is injured, call an ambulance. If the victim is unconscious, make sure that he or she is breathing freely. You shouldn't attempt to provide first aid for which you are not trained.
  • Try to remember the appearance of the thief, and any special details which could help the police.
valuables tuck grab
strap alert opportunistic

Now go to 03 READING Being prepared - task.


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