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The following are tips that can help you avoid becoming a victim
of a crime when you are out and about, or working at your job. By
taking a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk to yourself,
and also discourage those who commit crimes. Burglars, robbers,
and thieves seek primarily to remove cash or property. Many
such intruders are capable of harming people with little provocation,
so whether at work, at home, or out on the street, these precautions
should be taken.
- Always leave your headlights on when arriving home after dark
until you have unlocked the garage door, or unlocked the front
- When arriving home by private auto or taxi, ask the driver
to wait unto you are safely inside.
- Have the door key in your hand so you can open the door immediately
when you return home.
- If you are a woman alone, list only your first initial and
last name on the mailbox, or in the telephone directory.
- When moving into a new apartment or residence, ALWAYS have
the locks re-keyed, or changed.
- Know who is at your door before opening it. Wide angle door
viewers (180 degrees or 190 degrees) enable you to identify the
visitor. You can see the person, that person can't see
- Never rely on chain locks. They are a privacy lock, but not
a security lock.
- Never dress in front of windows, always close your drapes.
- Never let anyone into your home without proper identification.
Don't be afraid to ask for identification.
- Never let strangers into your home to use the telephone. Make
the call for them while they wait outside.
- Always leave outside lights on after dark, or use motion lights.
- If you receive a wrong number phone call, don't give out your
name or phone number.
- If you receive an obscene phone call, hang up and call police.
- In an apartment building, NEVER be alone in
the laundry room.
- If you suspect anyone is in your house, do not go in. Go to
a neighbor and call the police.
- If you see or hear anything suspicious, call the police.
Opening the business: Have two employees
together meet and unlock the business. One should stay outside,
while the other checks the interior. After clearing, both may enter.
Closing the Business: Employees should
accompany each other to their vehicles-- especially at night. If
this is not possible, perhaps a security guard for the shopping
center can escort the last employee to his/her car.
Bank Deposits: Making bank deposits alone
can be dangerous. Employees making deposits should always
go in pairs. If you are alone, vary deposit times and carry the
deposit inside a purse or a plain bag. Do not use a bank
bag or a bag with a name on it. Never make
deposits after closing, as this is an obvious for hold-ups.
Taking out the trash: Doing this in pairs
is much safer, both for the employees and the business.
Panic buttons: Install panic buttons
at the front counter. Make sure there are phones near both front
and rear entrances.
Controlling Access: This enhances personal
security. Keep secondary exits locked. Limit access
to secondary exits by non-employees by having doors alarmed and
labeled "EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY" or limit access
to the area around the door.
Keep Restrooms Locked: Be in control of
access to restrooms, storage areas, etc. This prevents assailants
from hiding in waiting and "breakouts."
ID Badges for Access Control: T hey are only
as good as the enforcement of the policy.
Visibility: This increases safety. Keep
parking and walking areas well lit, and keep the area around the
building clear of debris. Stacks of boxes and pallets can
be hiding places for assailants. Install mirrors or Closed Circuit
TV in rooms with blind corners and in enclosed parking facilities.
- Keep buildings locked whenever public access is not necessary.
- Watch for suspicious persons (persons not having legitimate
- Look into your car before entering it.
- If you think you are being followed, find other people.
- Use the "buddy" system.
- Take access control policies seriously.
- If Confrontation Does Occur, These are the Safety Procedures
to be Kept in Mind:
- Don't be a hero. Do nothing to risk your personal
- Consider all guns, or threat of guns, as loaded weapons.
- Activate alarms only if you can do so without detection.
- Attempt to alert co-workers only if you can do so safely.
- Follow directions exactly, without volunteering.
- Without seeming obvious, study attacker's distinguishing
- Try NOT to go out alone at night. Avoid
unfamiliar areas, if possible.
- Don't take shortcuts: don't walk in or near alleys, and don't
walk on deserted streets.
- Use caution in parking lots, and don't walk in poorly lighted
areas, or dark doorways, or near shrubbery.
- Don't accept rides from strangers, and don't respond to comments
from strangers on the street.
- Don't get into an empty elevator with a stranger. If
you do ride with another person, stand near the control panel
and if attacked, press an many of the control buttons as possible.
- Don't hitchhike, and if someone suspicious is following you,
cross the street and walk into an open business.
- Watch your surroundings and be alert for suspicious persons,
especially around banks, stores, street, and your car or home.
- If you are alone at work after business hours, keep the door
- If you work late, ask the security guard or a co-worker to
walk you to your car.
- When meeting a new friend, exchange phone numbers only, not
addresses. On a first date, let family and friends know
where you are going. Consider a daytime meeting rather than a
night meeting, for a first date, and meet in a public place.
- It is never a good idea to go to a nightclub alone, and if
you do, provide your own transportation.
- Keep your space - Intimate space - 0 to 1.5 feet Personal space
- 1.5 to 4 feet Social space - 4 to 12 feet Public space - 12
feet or more
- Don't allow alcohol or drugs to impair your judgment. If
you haven't already set a few social standards, do so and stick
to them. Don't allow an overly aggressive pursuer to change
- Never pickup hitchhikers.
- Don't park in the dark.
- Never leave your keys in the car.
- Never allow another vehicle to follow you home.
- Have your keys in hand so you can open the car door without
- Always keep your car in gear when stopped at a traffic signal
or stop sign, so if threatened in any way, you can quickly drive
- Always check the back seat of your car before getting in.
- If you stop to aid others, do not get out of the car. Ask
what the problem is, and go to the nearest phone and call the
- Always lock your doors while driving.
- Always prearrange meeting with anyone so you do not have to
- During off hours, ride as near the operator as possible.
- If you are going to be out late, make sure you have cab fare.
- If someone on the bus bothers you, change seats and tell the
- Have your fare or pass ready in hand when boarding the bus.
- At night avoid dark and isolated intersections or stops.
- Look around when getting off the bus or trolley, and be aware
of people around you.
- Use common sense. Try to talk your way out of it.
- Try to negotiate.
- Stall for time.
- Be verbally assertive.
- Distract or divert the assailant, then flee. Run toward
an open business or a group of people. Hide if you get
- Scream loudly and keep it up to attract attention and help
from people near by.
- If the attacker threatens you with a deadly weapon, and you
come out of it alive, you took the proper course of action. During
an armed attack, you must decide the proper course of action. There
is no hard and fast rule as to self defense. You must consider
your physical capabilities, your location, and your perceived
chances of success. If you cannot escape, bide your time
and look for another opportunity, a half-hearted attempt could
be worse than no attempt at all.
- Notify The Police immediately, when you get the opportunity,
and if there are witnesses, ask them to stay until police arrive.
- It is not advisable to carry guns, clubs, knives, or chemical
sprays. It is illegal to carry some of these weapons, and
they could be used against you. It is advisable not to carry
- And finally, if a crime occurs, report it. When you report
a crime and all the facts about it, it helps the police to assign
officers in the places where crimes are occurring or where they
are most likely to occur. If you don't report a crime,
this allows the criminal to operate without interference. Tell
The Police what you know. No fact is too trivial.
- If at all possible, don't carry a purse.
- When possible, carry your wallet, keys, and other valuables
on your person, or in an inside pocket, or other suitable place,
rather than your purse. Your purse should be used to carry brushes,
combs, make-up, etc.
- Credit cards and checks should be carried instead of cash. Maintain
a record of the account numbers at home. Practice carrying
only the cards you will be using.
- Carry a shoulder bag securely between your arm and body away
- If you are wearing a coat, carry a purse worn over the shoulder,
but under the coat.
- Watch your surroundings. Be alert for suspicious persons
especially around banks, stores, streets, and your home.
- At night, stay in well-lighted areas and avoid walking close
to shrubbery, dark doorways, or other places of concealment.
- Practice the "buddy system", and shop with a friend when possible. When
walking in twos, place your purse between you and your friend.
- Carry a clutch bag un-snapped and upside down between your
arm and body with any valuables in the zippered compartment. If
someone attempts to steal your purse, loosen your grip, thus
allowing the contents to fall to the ground.
- Consider "fanny packs" whenever possible.
- If you are attacked, don't struggle. Your purse can easily
be replaced; you can't be. If there is a witness, ask that
person to stay until police arrive.
- Notify police immediately after an attack -911 on a
land line, or 777-3211 on your cell phone.
Don't . . .
- Don't carry large amounts of money. The
first rule is to limit your losses.
- Don't carry more than you can easily afford
to lose. Many purse snatches are committed solely to finance
- Don't carry unnecessary valuables in your
- Don't let your purse hang loosely in your
- Don't carry a lethal weapon; it could be used
- Don't fight. Surrender your purse.