It seems like every time we turn on the news, we hear about more people being mugged or assaulted. Crime can happen in large cities, as well as small towns. Every environment is different, but no matter where you are, there is no absolute guarantee of personal safety. However, if you know how to safeguard yourself from becoming a victim of crime, you’ll be able to reduce or eliminate opportunities that may make you a target. Here are some general safety precautions you should practice:
- Use the buddy system whenever possible. Avoid walking alone at night.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
- Use well-lit, commonly traveled routes. Avoid dark, isolated areas and shortcuts.
- Walk with confidence and purpose. Use your body language to show that you are aware and in control.
- Vary your routes and schedules for walking to be less predictable.
- Keep your cell phone readily available with pre-programmed police emergency numbers.
- Trust your instincts. If someone or something makes you feel uneasy, find a safe place as quickly and discreetly as possible.
- If you feel like you are being followed, cross the street to create distance, and go to a populated area, such as a store or restaurant.
- If you are a student, know where all of the emergency telephones are located on campus.
- If you are somewhere out of the ordinary, let someone know where you are and arrange for them to meet you or pick you up.
- When parking, park in a well-lit area. Avoid parking in secluded areas of parking lots, parking garages, or streets.
- Minimize the amount of money, credit cards, and valuables that you carry with you. If somebody attempts to rob you, give them your stuff. It’s better to lose materials than to lose your life.
- If you are out shopping, conceal or condense large bundles, bags, or packages since carrying many items can make you a potential target of theft.
These are simple things you can do every day to lessen your chances of becoming a victim of crime. Overall, remember to be careful, vigilant, and use common sense. After all, it truly is better to be safe than sorry!