Personal Safety—Be Prepared
By taking a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk to yourself and also discourage those who commit crimes.
- Always be alert and aware of the people around you.
- Educate yourself concerning prevention tactics.
- Be aware of locations and situations which would make you appear 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.
- 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 at a steady pace.
- Make eye contact with people when walking.
- Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street—continue walking.
- If you carry a purse, carry it securely between your arm and your body. Although a purse-snatcher's intent is to steal the purse, your personal safety may depend on not clinging to it.
- Do not use or wear anything that will impede your vision or hearing (i.e. iPods).
- Always lock your car doors after entering or leaving your vehicle.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- Have your car keys in your hand so you don't have to linger before entering your car.
- Check the interior of your vehicle for intruders before entering your car.
- If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or a police or sheriff station.
- If your car breaks down, open the hood and attach a white cloth to the car antennae. If someone stops to help, stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police, sheriff or a tow truck service.
- Don't stop to aid motorists by the side of the road. Make a phone call requesting help for them.
While Waiting for a Bus
- Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
- Try to avoid isolated bus stops.
- Don't open your purse or wallet while boarding the bus—have your pass or money already in your hand.
- Keep jewelry out of sight; don't flash jewelry; turn rings around so the stones don't show.
On Board Buses
- During off hours, ride as near to the bus operator as possible
- If someone bothers you or makes you feel uncomfortable, change seats. Inform the driver of the situation.
- Carry your wallet inside your coat, or in a front pocket.
- Keep your belongings in front of you and hold close to your body with both hands.
- Be alert to pick-pocketers on crowded buses; check your purse or wallet if someone is jostling, crowding or pushing you.
- Never leave your purse or wallet in plain view or in common accessible areas.
- Don't leave cash or valuables at the office.
- If you work alone or after 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.
- In an elevator, be mindful that there is a distress alarm on the control panel.
- Be alert for pick-pocketers on crowded elevators.
- Report all suspicious persons and activities to the proper authorities (office manager, building security, law enforcement).
- Be aware of escape routes for emergencies and post the police and fire department numbers near telephones.
Finally, if a crime does occur...REPORT IT! Everyone should consider it his or her responsibility to report crime. Many criminals develop favorite areas for committing crime, as well as 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, and your report may help prevent a crime from reoccurring. 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.
**At least half of the crimes in the Unites States go 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 a crime, this allows the criminal to continue to operate without interference.**
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