By taking a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk to yourself and also discourage those who commit crime.
- Always be alert and aware of the people around you.
- Educate yourself concerning prevention tactics.
- Be aware of locations/situations which would make you vulnerable to crime, such as alleys and dark parking lots.
- Street precautions...
- Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you, especially if you are alone or it is dark.
- Whenever possible, travel with a friend or as part of a group.
- Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
- Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes and alleys where someone could hide.
- Walk confidently and at a steady pace.
- Make eye contact with people when walking - let them know that you have noticed their presence.
- Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street or in a car - continue walking.
- If you carry a purse, hold it securely between your arm and body or consider wearing a fanny pack.
- Always lock doors after entering or leaving your vehicle.
- Park in well-lighted areas and away from shrubs or other potential hiding places.
- Have your keys ready in your hand as you approach your vehicle to unlock it.
- Check the back seat before entering your vehicle.
- If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place like a police station, gas station or hospital emergency entrance.
- If your vehicle breaks down, open the hood and attach a white cloth to the antenna or put a CALL THE POLICE sign in the rear window. Stay locked inside your car, and if someone stops to assist you, roll down the window only slightly and ask them to call for assistance.
- Consider buying a cellular phone for ready access to emergency communication.
- Don’t stop to aid motorists stopped on the side of the road. Call and request help for them.
- Keep your vehicle maintenance current and always have a FULL tank of gas!
While waiting for a bus....
- Avoid isolated bus stops.
- Stand away from the curb until the bus arrives.
- Don’t open your purse or wallet while boarding the bus - have your pass or money already in your hand.
- Don’t invite trouble by flashing your jewelry - hide it under a collar, turn ring stones around so that they don’t show or leave them at home.
While riding on the bus...
- Sit as close to the bus driver as possible.
- Stay alert and be aware of the people around you.
- If someone bothers you, change seats and tell the driver.
- Keep your purse/packages close by your side. Keep your wallet inside a front coat pocket.
- Check your purse/wallet if someone is jostling, crowding or pushing you.
- If you see any suspicious activity, inform the driver.
- Never leave your purse or wallet in plain view or in the pocket of a jacket hanging on a door.
- Don’t leave cash or valuables at the office.
- If you work alone or before/after normal business hours, keep the office door locked.
- If you work late, try to find another worker or a security guard to walk out with you.
- If you are in the elevator with another person, stand near the control panel. If someone gets on that makes you feel uncomfortable, get off immediately and wait for another elevator.
- Be alert for pickpockets on crowded elevators or escalators.
- Report all suspicious persons/circumstances to the proper authorities: office manager, building security and/or the police.
- Be aware of all escape routes for emergencies and post police business and emergency numbers.
If A Crime Occurs - Report It!
Everyone should consider it their personal responsibility to report crime. Many criminals target favorite areas and have predictable methods of operation. When you report all the facts about a crime, it helps the police assign officers in the places where crimes are occurring or where they are most likely to occur.
At least one out of two crimes in the United States goes unreported, either because people don’t think the police can do anything about it, or because people don’t want to get involved. If you don’t report crime, this allows the criminal to continue to operate without interference!
In many cases, it is the information provided by victims and witnesses that leads to the arrest of a criminal. So tell the police as much as you can - no fact is too trivial. The police need the eyes and ears of all citizens - together we CAN make a difference.