We know that three factors must be present for a crime to occur: desire, ability and opportunity.
You can have a significant impact on the last one, opportunity, and you can significantly reduce crime by taking simple crime prevention steps.
- Mark your personal property - most burglars will not steal marked property.
- Use a door viewer before opening your door. Always demand identification from strangers (even repair or sales persons).
- Always lock up your home before leaving and don't hide your house keys outdoors anywhere.
- Have keys ready and in your hand for immediate use when you return home.
- Use interior and exterior lighting at all times.
- Always use Safe Internet Shopping practices.
- Shred credit card offers and bank statements before you throw them away if you do not plan on using them.
- Hide or destroy boxes from expensive purchases.
- Do not answer personal questions about the house such as type of alarm, daytime occupancy, etc.
- Do not let people inside your home (to use the bathroom, phone, etc.).
- Avoid mail theft by obtaining a locked mailbox and dropping off outgoing mail at the local post office or postal mailbox.
- Do not give out your personal information or credit card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
- Check out the Home Burglary Prevention Tips.
- Plan your route ahead of time. Never walk alone at night; walk with a friend or your dog.
- Use well lit streets; not dark alleys or bushy areas.
- Carry signaling devices like shriek alarms or a whistle.
- Carry pepper spray.
- Be alert! Look behind you occasionally.
- Never ask for or accept a ride from a stranger.
- Don't carry large sums of money or wear valuable jewelry.
- Don't resist an armed robber. Hand over whatever is demanded quickly and quietly.
- Your life and safety are worth more than any personal property.
- If possible, don't carry a purse! Never carry anything you can't afford to lose in it.
- Carry your purse across the front of your body, with your forearm across the front of the purse and your elbow held tightly against your side.
- Carry your keys, wallet or other valuables in pockets in your clothes and not in your hand.
- Carry minimum amounts of cash and credit cards. Keep a record of all of your card numbers.
- Check out how to prevent and what to do if you are a victim of Identity Theft.
- Be sure to also look at tips on ATM Awareness.
- Always look inside before entering your car.
- Lock all doors immediately after you are in the car.
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- If a stranger approaches while you are in the car, keep the windows up, doors locked and engine running.
- Honk your horn if you need to attract attention.
- Park in well-lit areas at night.
- Always lock your car when leaving it.
- Consider installing an auto burglar alarm system.
- Don't leave anything valuable in your car if at all possible.