Thieves will often target individuals who are walking alone and/or distracted. A simple yet effective strategy to avoid being robbed is to maintain awareness of your surroundings at all times. This can also be referred to as situational awareness. Other prevention tips include:
- Walk with confidence. Keep your head up and know where you are going. If your head is down and you are distracted by your cell phone, you won’t be aware of what’s happening around you. This makes you an easy target.
- Limit distractions. Store mobile phones and other valuables out of sight and remove your headphones so you can hear if someone approaches you from behind.
- Call a friend. Let someone know where you are going.
- Stay visible. Stick to well-lit areas and don’t wear dark clothing at night. If your building has security, consider asking if the security guard can accompany you to your vehicle.
- Only essentials. Carry only the necessary identification, money, or cards that you need.
- Keys ready. Have your car or house keys ready before you reach the door.
If you are approached, verbally threatened or physically assaulted you can avoid further confrontation by giving the perpetrator the property they want. Do not engage in the altercation as it increases your chance of getting physically harmed. Property can be replaced. Your safety is most important.
Try to take note of what the suspect(s) looks like and their direction of travel. Physical descriptors such as: height/weight, clothing, and visible markings like scars, tattoos or piercings can help the police in later identifying the suspect.
Call police as soon as it is safe to do so. The call-taker will determine your location and get you the help you need. You can then provide the call-taker with the suspect’s description and their last known direction of travel. This information will be given to attending police officers.
For more information and tips, see the following links below: