Here are some simple tips to help reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime.
Carry a personal safety device, alarm, pepper spray or a taser
If at all possible, never walk alone.
If you absolutely have to walk alone, walk on well-lighted, well-traveled walkways and plan your route ahead of time. Avoid places where attackers might hide (spaces between parked cars, overgrown shrubs, and dark passageways) and areas where you might get cornered. Remember that it is best to walk facing traffic.
If anyone follows you, look confident and let him or her know you are aware of their presence. Don’t be polite or engage in conversation.
If they continue to follow you, cross the street and/or change directions.
If this doesn’t work, walk toward other people or occupied buildings and stay away from places where you might get cornered.
If someone in a car follows you and is persistent or becomes obscene, write down the license number and report it to the Police.
IF YOU’RE SHOPPING
Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
Avoid carrying large amounts or cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don’t overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
Only carry a minimal amount of credit cards when out shopping.
Do not carry your Social Security Card or PIN numbers in your wallet or purse, leave these items in a secure place at home.
Taking the extra time to close your purse and keep it with you while shopping or in public places will reduce the opportunity for thieves to take wallets and other valuables.
Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
When possible walk to your car with someone or ask a store employee to walk with you to your car especially after dark.
Keeping your home safe
Install video cameras with a sign that says video surveillance
Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
Keep your garage door closed and locked.
Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
Keeping your vehicle safe
Install a vehicle alarm or mechanical lock for the steering wheel or ignition.
Always lock the doors and leave the windows rolled up.
Always activate any auto alarms or anti-theft devices.
Keep books, tape players, and other valuables out of sight. Expensive items in full view invite theft even if the vehicle is locked. Don’t advertise the types of equipment you have in your vehicle.
Place valuable items in your trunk not the front or back seats.
Know the license number, year, make and model of your vehicle.
Do not leave money, checkbooks, or credit cards in the vehicle at any time.