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Crime Prevention Strategies

Aug 17, 2007
My daughter loves to watch scary movies. She doesn't seem to get spooked from horror films but after watching the news one night about a home invasion and abduction, she begged to sleep in our room.

Forget about scary movies. Those are actors. The news is about real events happening in our communities to people just like us. Crime, especially violent crime, is a common topic on the nightly news.

Even though the average person is quite unlikely to ever become a victim of truly violent crime, everyone should still learn some crime prevention strategies.

We all have images in our minds of what a "victim" looks like, what a "bad guy" looks like, and what a "safe" neighborhood looks like. The truth is that a victim can be anyone, young or old, male or female.

"Bad guys" are not just male and they can be young or old. Some act in very suspicious or aggressive ways, others are mild mannered. Crime can happen in the middle of the day as well as at night.

This article isn't meant to make you fearful. It is meant to teach you to listen to your gut instincts. It is meant to try to teach you not to ignore a situation that feels wrong just because you may be thinking that it looks "okay".

If a situation just doesn't feel right, you should trust your gut instincts. It can be the best personal safety device you have!

Street Safety

Be alert and pay attention to your surroundings. Don't go on "auto-pilot".
Walk with confidence and authority.
Plan your route so you avoid empty parks, parking lots, garages, and alleys; stick to well lit areas.

Plan a strategy before you run into trouble. Crossing the street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially dangerous situation.

If a car is following you or the occupant/s calls to you, do not approach it; look at car and the person (in case you have to identify them and so they know you can) then turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.

Watch your personal space; don't let people get too close, even if they appear to have a reason, liking asking for the time, change, etc.

Consider wearing clothes and shoes that you can move quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.

Carry minimal items. Carrying too many things can make you appear more defenseless.

Car Safety

Have your keys (preferably with pepper spray attached) in your hand as you walk to your car.
Parked cars provide good hiding places; be alert as you approach you car.

Do not approach if you see anyone loitering near you car.
Enter your car quickly and lock the doors immediately.

If you are being followed, drive to the nearest well lit public, populated location and honk to get attention or call someone (a cell phone is indispensable nowadays).

If you need to pay for parking, get your money ready inside your locked car.
Always lock you car and have no possessions visible, even small change.

Safety on the Bus

Use schedules to minimize waiting time at bus stops.
Sit near the front of the bus if possible.

Keep your possessions on your lap.
Stay alert to your surroundings. Tell the driver if you sense trouble.

Avoid sleeping, cleaning out your purse (common sense), balancing your check book. If you read, loop up periodically.

If You Are Confronted

If you are confronted by a robber, it might seem like a good idea to say that you have no money, this may back fire. It is safer to give up a few dollars.

Carry a small amount of money in an accessible place.
If a robber demands your possessions and displays or implies in any way that he/she has a weapon, don't refuse. Chances are you will be knocked down, hit, or kicked and the robber will get your possessions anyway.

If someone tries to grab you, make a scene (if you have it, get your defense spray out). Yell, fight, scream...do whatever you can to get away and attract attention.

Crime prevention strategies are essential. People who work late, delivery people, real estate agents, or anyone whose occupation requires them to meet strangers are vulnerable to crime.

Young adults, teens, college students are also vulnerable to crime because they are often out late in social settings. A self defense class is well worth the time and cost. You can also get some knowledge from books or the internet.

Learning to properly use pepper spray, a personal alarm, or a stun gun can help you feel more secure and confident. Being prepared should be your first line of defense against crime.
About the Author
Patricia Deiparine owns Northwest Safety Products on Mercer Island, Washington,
offering high quality, affordable personal safety and home protection products.
Your online source for wireless burglar alarms, personal alarms, portable travel alarms,
driveway alarm, diversion safes, self defense devices, pepper spray, stun guns, and more.
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