The Best Tips to Avoid Crime and Stay Safe
In this post are some general crime prevention tips I’ve assembled to keep you safe at home, while shopping, traveling, and in your vehicle.
Although there has been a downward trend in some U.S. crimes, the United states still leads the world in the number of crimes, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Russia.
Even if crime rates are down, you should still take measures to avoid and prevent crime.
One of the first things you can do is find out if there is a Neighborhood Watch program in your area. If not, you could organize your own.
Your local police department may be able to help with this, or tell you of Citizens Safety Projects that may be available.
Or the police may have people that can speak at your group about subjects such as identifying suspicious people or stolen merchandise, protecting your house, apartment, vehicle, etc.
General Crime Prevention Tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Vary your routines. Lock your home, car, and office.
- With cars especially, police in many areas say that most cars thefts happen after people leave their keys in the car ignition. In many cases people are leaving the motor running while they go inside a store to buy something!
- If you have a vehicle make/model that is stolen often, consider getting another anti-theft device, even if you have an alarm system.
- Pay attention to home security. Don’t make your home an easy target. Install floodlights, security systems, etc.
When Shopping or Traveling:
- Avoid carrying valuable items or large amounts of money. Instead of carrying a lot of personal possessions around in public (purses, wallets, checkbooks, organizers, credit cards, cash, etc.) police usually advise to only take what you need with you.
- Keep wallets and purses out of sight, but somewhere you can feel them inside your jacket or pants.
- Don’t leave your bags and packages unattended in a public place, such as in a restaurant, store, etc. If you’re trying on shoes in a shop for example, don’t walk even a short distance away from your bag.
- Always think ahead. For example, when traveling at night, have your keys ready to enter the house or to start the car.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- If you are being followed, head for a crowded place.
- If being attacked, yell FIRE. This will draw attention to those who do not want to get involved, but may be concerned for their own safety and come to help.
- If there are other people around, yell loudly enough to get their attention to what the assailant is doing.
- If you are alone and do not know anyone on the street or nearby, try calling a name out to make the attacker or assailant to believe you may be with someone. This may also help if you are alone at home.
- If someone has a weapon, stay calm and wait for an opportunity. Weapons make the situation more dangerous and difficult, but there still may be something you can do about the situation.
Auto Safety and Parking:
- Make certain your car is always in good working order, with safe tires and an adequate amount of gasoline for your planned trip.
- Always check your car before getting in – to make sure that no one is hiding inside.
- If parking in a lot where you leave a key with a parking attendant, leave only the ignition key. In all other cases, lock your car.
- Do not leave packages or personal items in open view in the car. Place them in the trunk.
- At night, park only in lighted areas.
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- If you feel you are being followed. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, or an open gas station.
- Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you have parked.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
- Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
- Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
- Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
- When approaching and leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
- Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
- Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
- Jog with a partner.
- Jog in familiar areas, and avoid secluded places.
- Do not jog alone after dark.
- Wear a reflective vest during hours of darkness.
- Carry a security whistle when you jog.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.