Here are some tips you can use to protect yourself from becoming a victim, and become part of the eyes and ears of the police in your neighborhood.
Personal Safety Tips: Don’t Become a Victim
- While walking, present an alert and confident appearance; be aware of people and your surroundings. Criminals consider you as a target if you appear intimidated or unaware of your surroundings.
- Walk near the curb facing traffic; and do not pass too close to shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment. Avoid shortcuts and unfamiliar areas with little pedestrian or other traffic present.
- Grip carried items such as purses firmly, and avoid leaving them unattended or in a shopping cart. Thieves will distract you while a second thief walks off with your belongings.
- Become familiar with stores and gas stations that stay open late at night that can provide access to safety.
- Carry some type of personal alarm (whistle or electronic device), and at night carry a flashlight with you as well.
- Know that wearing earphones connected to portable radios, CD players, and other devices can distract you, and make you less able to sense potential danger, thus making you a potential target for criminals.
- Before you enter your vehicle look around, have your keys ready, and look inside to ensure it is clear.
Auto Theft Prevention
- Always roll up your windows and lock the car, even if it is in front of your home. Never leave your keys in the car or ignition, even inside a locked garage.
- Never leave your car running unattended, even to dash into a business or back inside your home.
- Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk out of sight.
- Install a mechanical device that locks to the steering wheel, column, or brake pedal. These devices can act as a highly visible physical deterrent.
- Buy a vehicle with interior hood and truck lock releases, and a factory installed alarm system.
- Check your vehicle if you hear the alarm, but do not try to stop a person breaking in. Call the police.
- Carry your drivers’ license, registration, and insurance card with you, and if your vehicle is stolen, promptly report it to the police.
Home Security Tips: How to Avoid Burglary
- Make sure external doors have sturdy well-installed dead-bolt locks and are made of solid wood or metal. Sliding glass doors are easily accessible, so install a lock, place a broomstick, or dowel in the track to jam the door. When you move into a new house or apartment, re-key the locks.
- Clearly display your house number, and give an extra key to a trusted neighbor. Never hide a key outside.
- Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors, and cut back shrubbery that hides doors and windows.
- Lock double hung windows with key locks or pins, install bright outside lights, motion detection lighting, and keep them on at night.
- If you travel, use timers to turn lights off and on in different areas of your home throughout the evening.
- Consider buying an audible alarm system, the sound will draw attention to your home in an emergency. If your home or apartment is burglarized, promptly report it to police regardless of whether anything is taken or not.