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Crime Prevention Tips

  • Crime Prevention Tips

    Home Safety

    Safety experts agree that the best way to deal with crime in the home is to take every step possible to prevent it from happening to you. Every person should know – at the very least – basic yet important crime prevention tips that will keep you and your family more safe and secure.
    As explained in greater detail in this section, law enforcement and security experts will tell you from years of statistics and experience – criminals will almost always look for the easiest possible targets. While no one can be guarantee 100% that no one will break into your home, these tips will definitely reduce the likelihood significantly.

    Read through the tips and advice of experts in how to burglar proof your home to avoid being the victim of a robbery or theft. The information here about basic crime prevention techniques will be very effective in making your home unappealing to any burglar. For example- by doing a few simple things such as keeping exterior lights on at night, making sure there aren’t tall bushes that someone can hide behind, keeping all of your doors locked and installing safety windows, you can turn your house from a target into something a predator will not want to even attempt breaking into. There is also good information about how adding a burglar alarm or even simple home security devices can give you extra security that deter a criminal from choosing you as their next victim.

    You can also work with your neighbors to keep each other safe. For instance, a neighborhood watch group is a great way to show everyone that they are being watched and will not have an easy time on your block. You can put up signs that indicate you have people watching for suspicious behavior. We will gladly assist any neighborhood with this project, so please contact us for more information at 434-985-2222.

    Auto Theft Prevention
    Taking precautionary measures can minimize your chances of becoming the victim of auto theft.
    In the United States a vehicle is stolen an average of every 21 minutes. Not only does auto theft costs the victim time and money, but it cost society, because it drives insurance premiums up and many times stolen vehicles are used to commit other crimes.

    Car thefts seem to occur with greater frequency where large groups of cars are parked for extended periods of time in places such as shopping centers, colleges, sporting events, movie complexes, and large apartment complexes. Car thefts can occur anytime — at random, on different days of the week and times of the day, depending on the locations.

    Below are some tips you can use to avoid being the victim of a car thief:

    1. Never leave your car running unattended, even to dash into a business, store, etc
    2. Never leave any keys in the car or ignition, inside a locked garage, or in hide-a-key boxes
    3. Always roll up your windows and lock the car, even if it is parked in front of your home
    4. Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk out of sight.
    5. Always park in high-traffic, well-lighted areas, when possible.
    6. Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column, or brakes. These devices will deter some criminals
    7. Investigate the purchase of a vehicle theft tracking/security system, especially if you own one of the frequently stolen model vehicles.
    8. Never leave personal identification documents, vehicle ownership title, or credit cards in your vehicle.
    9. If you must leave your key with a valet, attendant, or mechanic leave only the ignition key, make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm.
    10. In high theft areas the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should be etched on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid. This makes it difficult for a thief to market your stolen car parts.
    11. Copy your license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card and keep them with you. If your vehicle is stolen, law enforcement will need this information to take a report.
    12. Many vehicles today come with some type of security system from the factory. Normally there are upgraded systems available if you ask. The best choices are systems that shut off the fuel supply so that a car can’t be started or driven.
    13. If your vehicle is stolen, report it to the police immediately.

    Safety Tips for the Disabled

    A physical disability—impaired vision, hearing, or mobility—does not prevent you from being a victim of crime. Preventive measures can reduce your risk.

    1. Stay alert and tuned into your surroundings, whether on the street, in an office building, at the shopping mall, while driving or waiting for bus.
    2. Send a message that you’re calm, confident and know where you’re going.
    3. Be realistic about your limitations. Avoid places or situations that put you at risk.
    4. Know the neighborhood where you live and work. Always be familiar with the location of your local police, fire stations, public telephone, hospitals, restaurants or store that are open and accessible.
    5. Avoid establishing predictable activity patterns. Most of us have daily routines, but never changing routines can increase your risk.

    Safety Tips for Children

    1. Know your first and last name including the spelling.
    2. Know your address, city, state, and zip code.
    3. Know your phone number including area code.
    4. Know your parent’s first and last name.
    5. Know your parent’s place of work and phone number.
    6. Learn also other close relative phone numbers such as grandparents, aunts, and /or uncles.
    7. Know what number to dial in case of an emergency.
    8. Do not talk to strangers. (people you do not know)
    9. Do not accept rides, candy, or toys from strangers.
    10. Always try to walk, play, and or travel in a group or with a friend.

    These tips are advisory only and not intended neither to identify all security weaknesses nor to warrant the adequacy of all present and future safety measures

    Lost Child Safety Tips

    1. If you are in a store or closed area do not leave.
    2. Look for personnel or staff in a uniform. (Preferably police or security guard first)
    3. Let them know you are lost.
    4. Give them your first and last name and your parent’s name.
    5. Be prepared to give them your address and phone number.
    6. Tell them whom you were with prior to becoming lost.
    7. Be prepared to give a description of what they were wearing.
    8. Don’t Panic, listen to each question, and speak clearly and slowly.
    9. Give as much information as possible that you feel may help in locating you parent or guardian.
    10. Remember they are trying to help you be returned safely.

    These tips are advisory only and not intended neither to identify all security weaknesses nor to warrant the adequacy of all present and future safety measures.

    Identity Theft Tips

    1. Pay attention to your billing cycle on all your bills; follow up with creditors immediately concerning any missing bills.
    2. Place outgoing mail in post office collection boxes.
    3. Promptly remove all mail from your mailbox.
    4. If you are planning to be away, have your mail put on vacation hold until you return.
    5. Put passwords on your credit card, bank, and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information i.e. SS#, maiden name etc. as a password.
    6. Shred all documents with containing any personal information before putting them in the trash.
    7. Never give personal information out over the phone unless you are certain it is safe.
    8. These tips are advisory only and not intended neither to identify all security weaknesses nor to warrant the adequacy of all present and future safety measures.

    Holiday Safety Tips

    Before You Shop
    Avoid carrying a purse. If you must carry a purse, carry it close to the body and always closed or zippered. Use a "fanny pack" or deep pockets in clothing to carry what you need. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card whenever possible. Carry your keys, cash, and credit cards separate from each other; and be aware of your surroundings at all times. To help consolidate your packages – use a shopping bag. If you are not sure that a shopping bag will be available to you, take one of your own to the store, mall, or shopping center.

    While Shopping
    Be alert and aware of your surroundings. If you see people "hanging around" in parking garages, parking lots, or outside of stores avoid the area. Notify the police or store security department. Shop before dark if possible. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend if you plan to be out late. Never park your car in an unlit area, no matter how convenient it is. Make sure you know the exact location where you parked your car. Make a mental note or write the location down so you will know exactly where to go when you leave the store. Lock your car doors and windows even if you are only gone for a few minutes. Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard to ask for help if they should become separated from you in a store or shopping mall. They should never go into a parking lot alone.

    After Shopping
    Leave the mall/store well before closing time. This way, there is greater assurance you will walk out with other people. There really is "safety in numbers". Avoid fatigue. You are more alert when you are less tired. When hurried or in a crowded shop, make sure you get all forms of I.D. and credit cards returned to you before you leave. Use an escort or mall security if you have too many packages or if you are leaving the store after closing. Check underneath your car as you approach it. This is a common ploy of criminals in parking lots and they will take you by surprise. Have your keys in hand, and remember to check the interior of your vehicle before you unlock the door to get in. When going from store to store, keep all packages stored out of sight in the trunk of your car.

    At Home
    Be extra cautious about locking your doors and windows at all times. Don’t display gifts or other valuables where they can easily been seen from a window or doorway. After opening gifts make sure to breakdown cardboard boxes of expensive electronic and fancy stores, put them in plastic bags to hide the fact that you have valuable items in your home. If you go out in the evening, turn on your house lights, radio, or television so the house looks occupied.

    Beware of package deliveries where couriers have the "wrong" address. Write down the tag numbers of suspicious delivery attempts. If you go on vacation, get an automatic timer for your lights. Ask a neighbor or trusted friend to watch your house, pick up your mail, newspapers, and park their car in your driveway from time to time.

IN AN EMERGENCY: CALL 911