Travelling to and from work
Many dancers stressed as one of their key tips the need to leave the club safely! You need to be particularly alert when you’re leaving work, some criminals may target dancers for example because they think they are carrying cash or because they think they will be leaving work alone in the early hours of the morning. As it’s also important to consider travelling to work, this sections covers travelling to and leaving work.
Generally dancers stressed keys tips as;
- Avoid having to walk any distance alone, budget so you can get a taxi home.
- Avoid leaving the club alone, leave in pairs or larger groups!
- A responsible club should take an interest in your safety on leaving the club e.g. by ensuring they use a regular licensed taxi company and that you get into your taxi or lift safely.
- Get a member of security to walk you to your car or taxi.
- Use a licensed taxi or minicab company, ideally known and identifiable to the club for your journey to and from work. It is important all taxi drivers can be traced and using a company which keeps records of its drivers is one way of doing this. A good club should have arrangements with a taxi company/companies and should ensure dancers working in their establishments have taxis home booked. If the clubs don’t have a company they use regularly discuss this with managers and recommend this. Ask the club manager to put together a list of licensed taxi or minicab companies or contact your local council for details on such firms in your area.
- If you are making a booking ask for the driver and/or car details and confirm them when the cab arrives. Also ask the driver whose name the taxi/cab is booked under.
- Remember-Taxis (Hackney Carriages) can be hailed in the street. They look like purpose–built taxis or black cabs and have an illuminated taxi sign on the roof.
- Minicabs can’t be hailed in the street. They must be pre-booked, either by phone or at the cab office. Always book your minicab in advance. Un-booked cabs are illegal and potentially very dangerous.
- When you are in the cab, avoid giving out any personal details.
- If the driver makes you feel uneasy for any reason, trust your instincts and ask them to stop in a busy area and let you out.
- On leaving the club after a shift get a taxi to pick you up directly from the club entrance.
- A good club should book the taxi for you (using a taxi company they have arrangements with) and ensure that you are seen safely into a taxi. If no such arrangements are made try and arrange a taxi share with other dancers. When you get to the other end of the journey, many drivers will happily wait outside your home until they see you safely inside your front door, so it’s worth asking them
Being Collected from Work
- If a friend or partner is collecting you from work make sure they come right to the exit you are using.
- Put together an emergency kit for your car. This might include an extra coat, bottled water, a torch, spare change and an emergency mobile telephone charger.
- Arrange to pick up other dancers on the way if possible so you can travel as a group- saves petrol too!
- Try to plan where you will park before you go. Park as close to the club as possible.Avoid parking any long distance from the club. If you will be returning after dark, consider what the area will be like then and try to park near street lights and in an area where there will be some activity when you finish work and ideally which is covered by CCTV.
- If you use a car park ideally use one which is well lit, covered by CCTV and staffed 24 hours. Remember, when picking up your car after work in the early hours of the morning many car parks are likely to be quiet and empty. Consider where the entrances and exits are. Try to avoid having to walk across a lonely car park to get to your car. Park away from pillars/barriers.
- If you can, reverse into your space so you can drive away easily.
- When approaching your car be aware of your surroundings, have your keys ready and personal safety alarm to hand, check that no one is inside before entering quickly.
- If you break down, check out your surroundings and only get out of your car when and if you feel it is safe to do so.
- If the driver of another car forces you to stop and then gets out of his/her car, stay in your car, keep the engine running and if you need to, reverse to get away.
- Get a member of club security to see you to your car at the end of your shift.
- Carry a personal safety alarm.
- Obtain timetable and fare information before travelling to prevent you waiting around for long periods at bus stops or stations.
- When waiting for public transport after dark, try to wait in well-lit areas and near emergency alarms and CCTV cameras.
- Many dancers were clear that dancers should simply avoid walking to and from work for safety reasons. But if you have to;
- Plan ahead. Before you go out, think about how you are going to get home, e.g. What time does the last bus/train leave? As many dancers finish after public transport has finished, plan another form of transport home. Get a taxi, lift or take your own car.
- Avoid danger spots like quiet or badly-lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks.
- Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted.
- Try to use well-lit, busy streets and use the route you know best.
- Try to walk against oncoming traffic to avoid kerb crawlers.
- If something or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts. It may be better to move away before a problem arises.
- Remain vigilant at all times whilst walking.
- Carry and keep your personal safety alarm in your hand.