Person on Person Robberies

There are a number of things you can do to increase your safety when walking alone in your neighbourhood. The following tips are courtesy of the Thunder Bay Police Service.

University Students

  • Walk with a friend and try not to walk alone.
  • For University of Waterloo Students consider using the UW shuttle program, see  for more information on the program.
  • For Wilfrid Laurier University students consider using Foot Patrol, 519-886-3668 (FOOT) or go to
  • Report anything or anyone you think is suspicious. 

Know your surroundings

  • Pay attention to who lives near you, know who belongs in your building/neighborhood. Become familiar with the faces of people who belong in your building. Pay attention to people who behave suspiciously. Be particularly aware of a person you have seen loitering more than once.
  • Do not shut yourself off from the world. Headphones isolate you from your surroundings and make it very easy for an attacker to surprise you.

Walking Tips

  • Let others know. Always leave notice of where you are going and when you are expected to return. If you live alone, leave a note.
  • Stick to well-populated, busy areas. Avoid hidden trails, short cuts through secluded areas or lanes that are not well traveled. Stay where there is traffic and other people on foot.
  • Walk in the light and stay in well-lit areas. Do not walk in dark parking lots, dark alleys, dark lanes, dark trails, or any other dark areas. A well-lit path in a well-populated area is your safest route to any destination, even if it takes longer
  • Take a cell phone. Carry a cell phone to have handy for 911 and other minor emergencies. Do not make and take calls while walking – you will appear distracted. Calling someone before you leave and talking with them to give them the play-by-play until you are safe is OK. This ensures someone knows where you are if something happens.
  • Keep your head up and look confident. Posture can make all the difference in how a potential attacker perceives you. If you are looking down, seem distracted or appear afraid you are more likely target.
  • Have keys ready in your hands and inside your pocket. When you reach your door, have your keys ready in the proper position. This will avoid a scrambling situation. When this happens, you are distracted.

What to do in a possible robbery situation

  • If you think you are being followed, head into an open store, restaurant or lighted home. Follow your gut feelings. If someone gives you a bad feeling, tell him/her clearly to leave you alone - walk away.
  • If someone asks you for the time, keep your eyes up as you check your watch.  If you are not comfortable, simply say “I don’t know” and continue walking away.
  • Give directions from a distance. Do not approach a car that stops to ask you directions.
  • Yell if you are under attack. Keep yelling. Yell as loud as you can. Scream. Be noisy. This may spook off the attacker.

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