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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Mugging and assault

Most muggings take place in the street or on public transport and usually happen in the evening. If you’ve been mugged or assaulted, get yourself checked over by a doctor and report it to the police.

Being mugged

Young people are often victims of a mugging because they tend to carry around expensive things like mobile phones, jewellery and MP3 players. It’s also more likely that teens will be carrying cash instead of credit and debit cards, which again makes them a target for muggings.

Muggers will often use physical force to make you hand over your valuables and may also carry weapons like knives. If you are confronted by a mugger, the best idea is to give them your things, especially if they're threatening you with a weapon.

You can easily replace your belongings or cancel your cards if they are stolen. Don't put yourself at risk of being seriously injured just to keep hold of your stuff.

Assault

If you, or anyone you know have been beaten up or threatened with violence then this is assault, even if you weren’t hurt.

Not all assaults happen in the evening. Assaults can happen at any time, any place and by anyone. You could be walking down the street, at school or college or even in your own home. As well as strangers, you can also be attacked by people that you know.

Young people found guilty of assault will face serious punishments and may have to spend time in custody. If the assault is found to be racist or homophobic, or if someone was attacked because of their religion, the sentence will be more severe.

Happy slapping

One form of assault that has hit the headlines over the past few years is happy slapping. This is when someone is assaulted or beaten up by a gang of people while someone films the attack on their mobile phone. In some cases, footage of the attack has been uploaded by the attackers onto sites like YouTube and Facebook.

If you're a victim of happy slapping or you witness someone else being attacked, you should report it to the police as soon as possible.

What to do if you've been attacked

If you’ve been assaulted, you may be anxious, in shock or in a state of panic. The first thing you should do is get your injuries checked out by a doctor. If you've had anything stolen like your mobile phone or debit cards, cancel them as soon as possible so they can’t be used.

You should also report the attack to the police. Even if you managed to get away from your attacker, the police can use your evidence to stop it happening to anyone else.

You may also want to speak to someone about how you feel. Victim Support is an independent charity which helps people cope with the effects of crime, and there are many other organisations that can give you help and support.

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Victims of crime - find help

Search for services in your area that can give you help and support if you've been burgled or robbed

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