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Medical University of Graz

Prevention and Emergency

Austria performs well in many measures of well-being compared to most other countries in the Better Life Index of the OECD (2016). Austria ranks above the average in jobs and earnings, subjective well-being, personal security, social connections, environmental quality and education. In Austria, 81.2 % say that they feel safe, more than the OECD average of 68.3 %. Read more To continue maintaining this sense of security, we would like to inform you about the following preventative safety tips and emergency numbers.

Emergency numbers – please save these on your mobile phone!

  • Fire Brigade: 122
  • Police: 133
  • Ambulance: 144
  • European emergency number: 112
  • Women’s Emergency Hotline: +43 1 71719
  • Crisis hotline: 142

See also: http://www.bmi.gv.at/Notrufnummern/start.aspx (German)

Helpful Apps

Polizei.AT

is an official police app in Austria. Besides up-to-date news, tips on prevention and emergency numbers the app offers helpful information provided by the police. The app is compatible with all common operating systems (iOS, Android and Windows) and can be downloaded from the app stores for free: http://www.bmi.gv.at/612/start.aspx (German)

Virtual company – Komm Gut Heim App

Have your friends and family accompany you on your way home, in real time. Be safe and react quickly in an emergency. Your location is only shared with contacts you selected. With a push message, they are notified when you leave a place and the moment you arrive home. Download it onto your smartphone for free: http://www.kommgutheim.eu/ (German)

Mobile phone theft*

Continuous, new developments allow us to do more and more things comfortably through our mobile phones, making them a very tempting target for thieves. Recommendations:

  • Control access to your mobile phone with a PIN! This is a good approach to protect yourself against theft
  • Do not write the PIN or PUK code onto your phone or SIM card
  • Do not leave your mobile phone unattended on the table, bench or counter
  • When going to a restaurant or bar, do not leave your mobile phone in your jacket, coat or rucksack and do not leave it unattended in the cloakroom.
  • If you have a pre-paid mobile phone, have it registered by the service provider

In case of theft:

1. Call the police straight away! When reporting the crime you will need the 15-digit number of the device (IMEI number – International Mobile Equipment Identity). This number identifies your mobile phone. Make a note of the IMEI number and keep it separately from the mobile phone!

Where and how can I find the IMEI number?

  • • On the original packaging
  • • On the mobile phone bill
  • • On the mobile phone itself (often underneath the battery slider)
  • • By typing *#06# into your mobile phone

2. Have the mobile phone locked by the service provider straight away!

  • A1: 0800-664 100 (from abroad: 0043-800-664-100)
  • Drei: 0660-30 30 30 (from abroad: 0043-660-30 30 30)
  • T-Mobile: 0676-20 00 (from abroad: 0043-676-2000)

Stalking*

Stalking is a crime in Austria and can be defined as persistent and unwanted attention that makes you feel pestered and harassed. Stalking behaviours include utilizing proximity to the victim (e.g. by lurking somewhere), following a person repeatedly over a period of time, contacting them through telecommunication or other means of communication or via third person (e.g. with SMS or emails), using the victim’s personal data to buy products and services for them (e.g. at mail order companies) and using the victim’s personal data to make others contact them (e.g. issuing or posting personal advertisements).

What can I do if I am being stalked?

  • • Make it clear to the stalker, in the presence of a witness if possible, that you want the conduct to stop. Then ignore the stalker consistently.
  • • Keep a log of what the stalker is doing. Write down any attempts to contact you, any messages and keep evidence such as letters, SMS, emails etc. This documentation is important for legal actions.
  • • Tell your family/friends and your work colleagues that you are being stalked, so that any attempt to contact you through them (and asking for new telephone number, address) is unsuccessful.
  • • If you are being followed by a car, go to the nearest police station straight away.
  • • Call the police (133) if you are in immediate danger.

More safety tips*

The more aware you are of your surroundings, the better you are able to react in a (potentially) dangerous situation. In many cases, victims have time, even if only a few seconds, to react. This time should be used to call the police, 133.

 

General precautions

  • Consciously evaluate your surroundings.
  • LIGHT – Stick to well-lit paths, even if this means taking a detour.
  • In the event of an emergency, attract attention by making NOISE and approach PEOPLE directly to ask for help.
  • Make sure you know where the safe spots are on routes you use repeatedly to which you could escape.

 

When withdrawing money

  • If possible, withdraw money during the day and in the bank foyer.
  • When withdrawing money, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not count the money in public.
  • Always put everything away securely before leaving the cash machine.

 

Underground/Train/Bus stops and train stations

  • Know the timetable – avoid unnecessary waiting times.
  • Try to always buy your tickets at the counter, if not, have your cash ready in your hand for the machine.
  • Know your way around, where the closest stairs/escalators or exits are located.
  • Wait where there are people around.
  • Observe other waiting passengers.
  • When it is dark, wait outside the bus shelter.
  • Select your train compartment carefully.
  • Sit near the bus driver or on an individual seat or aisle seat.

 

In addition to the behaviour described above

  • Be careful in places with many people (big events, shopping centres, amusement parks, Christmas market, etc.).
  • Keep your purse/wallet in the front or inside pockets.
  • Carry your handbag under your arm or use a shoulder strap. Take care of your rucksack; thieves manage to steal things out of them too!
  • When using the toilets, open the door fully on entering so that you can see into the whole cubicle. Make sure that the door is properly locked. Also, take care when leaving the toilet – be prepared for the fact that someone could be waiting outside.
  • We recommend that you use a pocket alarm. When activating it, it sounds a loud alarm that helps attract other people’s attention.
  • NEVER let anyone you do not know into your flat/house.
  • In the event of immediate danger/a crime: Saying NO resolutely, sending an unknown person away energetically or calling for help loudly can prevent a crime from happening!
  • Do not address the perpetrator with ‘Du’, because witnesses might think you know the perpetrator and will not help. Always address them loudly with ‘Sie’, so that everyone around you knows that you do not know the person.
  • When being harassed in public transport (insult, physical violence, theft, sexual harassment, discrimination through words/actions, etc.) call for help loudly, ask other passengers for help and if necessary, do not hesitate to pull the emergency brake and call the police 133.
  • If you have the feeling you are being followed in the underground car park, call 133 straight away. If there is no reception, sound the fire alarm: Break the thin glass and press the button located in the red, 10 x 10 cm and metal boxes on the walls of the car park.
  • If you have been sexually assaulted, call the ambulance 144 and/or the police 133 immediately, even if you feel ashamed. Female victims are only questioned by female police officers and are allowed to bring a person in a position of trust, e.g. a friend, if they want to.

 

Summary

Get used to activating your ‘awareness radar’ and take note of your surroundings. Trust your own instincts and act accordingly (make a detour if necessary, leave university as a group, take extra care of your personal belongings, etc.). Familiarise yourself with the emergency services and assign emergency telephone numbers to the speed dialling key of your mobile phone. Saying NO resolutely, sending an unknown person away energetically or calling for help loudly can prevent a crime from happening.

 

* Information provided by the Vienna Police Headquarters and by Günther Ebenschweiger, president of the Austrian centre for crime prevention

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