Basic Street Sense
Wherever you are - on the street, in an office building or shopping
mall, driving, waiting for a bus or subway - stay alert and tuned
in to your surroundings.
Send the message that you're calm, confident, and know where you're
Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy,
avoid the person or leave.
Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations
of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and restaurants,
or stores that are open late.
On Foot - Day and Night
- Stick to well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded
areas, parking lots, or alleys.
- Don't flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets
like expensive jewelry or clothing.
- Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps.
Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back
- Try to use automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your
card in hand and don't approach the machine if you're uneasy about
- Don't wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements.
- Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
- If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross
the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted
house. If you're scared, yell for help.
- Have to work late? Make sure there are others in the building,
and ask someone - a colleague or security guard - to walk you
to your car or transit stop.
- Keep your car in good running condition. Make sure there's enough
gas to get where you're going and back.
- Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you're
coming right back. Check inside and out before getting in.
- Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in lots
and underground parking garages.
- If you think someone is following you, don't head home. Drive
to the nearest police or fire station, gas station, or other open
business to get help.
- Don't pick up hitchhikers. Don't hitchhike.
- Leave enough space to pull around the vehicle in front of you
when you're stopped at a light or stop sign. If anyone approaches
your vehicle in a threatening manner, pull away.
- Beware of the "bump and rob." It works like this:
A car rear ends or bumps you in traffic. You get out to check
the damage and the driver or one of the passengers jumps into
your car and drives off. Look around before you get out; make
sure other cars or around. If you are uneasy, stay in the car
and insist on moving to a busy place or police station.
On Buses and Subways
- Use well-lighted, busy stops.
- Stay alert! Don't doze or daydream.
- If someone harasses you, don't be embarrassed. Loudly say "Leave
me alone!" If that doesn't work, hit the emergency device.
- Watch who gets off with you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly
to a place where there are other people.
People are losing their lives on the highway every day because
of "road rage." A majority of drivers get angry when someone
cuts them off or tailgates them. About 70 percent of drivers get
angry at slow drivers. Violent incidents on the road recorded by
police have increased 51 percent over the last five years.
- Don't allow someone to draw you into a test of wills on the
highway. If someone is tailgating you, pull into the slow lane
and let them pass. Don't take traffic problems personally.
- Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver.
- Don't make obscene gestures. Use your horn sparingly, as a warning,
not an outburst.
- Reduce stress by allowing ample time for your trip and creating
a relaxing environment in your car.
- Driving is a cooperative activity. If you're aggressive, you
may find other drivers trying to slow you down or get in your
- If you witness aggressive driving, stay out of the way and contact
authorities when you can. Consider carrying a cellular phone in
your car to contact police in the event of an encounter with an
If Someone Tries To Rob You or Take Your Car
- Don't resist. Give up your property, don't give up your life.
- Report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker
accurately. Your actions can help prevent others from becoming
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Crime Prevention Tips Provided by:
National Crime Prevention Council
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