Millions of Women Feel Vulnerable on Britain's Streets


Research out today by Diamond, the women's car insurance provider, reveals that at any given time, almost half of British women - 11.5 million women (48%) - feel unsafe in their surroundings, with one in 10 claiming they feel unsafe most or all of the time. 14% feel vulnerable three or more times a week, whilst the average person feels vulnerable at least two times a week.

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Diamond, the women's car insurance provider, reveals that almost nine in 10 women (86%) believe crime levels in Britain are on the rise and more women than ever are feeling vulnerable on Britain's streets as a result (73%).

The shock findings show that it's the most day to day activities that leave British women feeling vulnerable. Just being on public transport leaves almost half (45%) of all women feeling unsafe or vulnerable, whilst over a staggering six in 10 (63%) cite car parks as the place where they feel unsafe. Even the office fails to offer peace of mind, with one in 10 women aged between 25-34 claiming they feel most unsafe outside their workplace.

The top five places where women feel particularly unsafe are:

1. In an alleyway 71%
2. In a multi-storey/outdoor car park 63%
3. In a subway 61%
4. On public transport 45%
5. Alone in my car 22%

Diamond's Managing Director, Sian Lewis says: "Our research shows that despite today's CCTV culture, many women still feel unsafe on Britain's streets. Ensuring you take precautions and act sensibly is key in helping women feel and keep safe. As a girl's best friend, Diamond wants to ensure women across the UK feel safe wherever they are especially when in and around their cars. In particular the shocking amount of women who claimed they felt vulnerable in car parks has prompted us to find out more. That's why we're asking people across the UK to visit our Best Friends Club website - /bestFriend/letThereBeLight.php - and help us highlight their best and worst local car parks."

The research also found that half of all women who feel unsafe are worried of being attacked (46%), whilst a third (30%) fears being robbed or mugged. 2% say aggressive begging makes them feel vulnerable.

In response to these findings Diamond has compiled a list of actions women can take in order to feel safer:


  • Try to radiate confidence not vulnerability

  • Carry a personal attack alarm and try to avoid being out and about on your own, particularly after dark

  • Keep to well-lit, busy roads and avoid taking shortcuts along dark alleyways or parks

  • Let someone know where you are going, your intended route and the time you expect to be back

  • Call the police as soon as you are in a safe place, if you have been threatened – don't leave it until you get home

  • Keep the number of a reliable taxi firm handy and ask the taxi driver to wait until you are inside your house if you are dropped home

  • Ensure your car is well-looked after and has enough petrol for your journey

  • Keep your doors locked and windows closed when driving your car alone, especially in slow traffic

  • Park in a well-lit car park in an area that will be busy when you come back to your car

  • Check the rear seats of your car before you get in .


  • Listen to your iPod or personal stereo when out on your own, stay alert to your surroundings

  • Carry large amounts of cash and always be aware of people around you when taking cash out of ATMs

  • Wait at isolated bus stops or sit in an empty carriage on a train or tube

  • Leave your handbag open in your lap or on the seat next to you

  • Hitchhike or accept lifts from strangers

  • Leave your keys in the car ignition at any time

  • Leave valuables on the passenger seat next to you when driving - use the glove compartment

  • Stop to help a motorist if driving alone - drive to a public place and sound the alarm

  • Get out of the car if you are followed onto your driveway - keep the doors locked and beep your horn to get help


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