The following tips are from the North Carolina Governor's Crime Commission:
- Stay alert. Be conscious of what and who is around you.
- Be confident. Don't send out unconscious signals of vulnerability. Avoid the look of being alone, unaware of your surroundings, confused or lost, or unaware of situation while speaking on a cell phone.
- Look people directly in the eyes; know basic self-defense moves and always have a plan of escape.
- Trust your instincts. Use your intuition. If something does not "feel right," remove yourself from the situation immediately.
- Know the neighborhood. Use well-traveled routes; be cautious of strangers in the area.
- Don't take short cuts. Stick to well-lit, well-traveled streets.
- Don't walk alone. Walk with your spouse, friend or in a group.
- Don't flash cash. Keep your money hidden; carry your purse close to your body.
- Automatic teller machines. Avoid using ATMs at night where lighting and visibility to others is poor. Be cautious of other persons approaching you at an ATM.
- Be prepared. Wear comfortable clothing when walking and always have an escape plan.
In the car:
- Fill the tank. Keep your car in good running condition and keep your tank full when traveling to unfamiliar areas.
- Lock the doors. Keep windows up and doors locked when traveling in heavily congested areas with lots of foot and vehicular traffic.
- Park under a light. Always park in a well-lit parking area near or under a streetlight.
- Be cautious. If followed, don't go directly home or to an isolated area. Go directly to a police station or well-lit, congested store and seek help.
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
On public transportation:
- Be attentive. Stay alert while on buses, trains, subways, etc.
- Pick your spot. Aisle seat is preferable just in case someone is bothering you - you will be able to leave more easily.
- Don't be ashamed. Tell the person to leave you alone if they are bothering you and be loud enough that others can hear and be alerted to your situation.
- In taxis. Use well-known company; wait inside.
If you are attacked:
- Don't panic.
- Take control of yourself and the situation.
- Don't resist.
- Give up your property, not your life.
- Try to distract or confuse an assailant; scream, run, etc.
- If there is a weapon remain calm; be cooperative; negotiate.
Home Burglary Prevention
Physically securing your residence is 90 percent of burglary prevention. If your home is locked and unauthorized entry is difficult, time consuming and conspicuous, the chances of a successful burglary are greatly reduced. The North Carolina Governor's Crime Commission offers the following burglary prevention tips:
- Locks should be: double-cylinder deadbolts with movable collars recessed into the door at least a one-inch through, containing a hardened-steel insert protected by a latch. G
- Guard padlocks should be made of hardened steel and mounted on bolted hasps
- File off serial numbers to prevent new keys being made.
- Doors and windows should be: solid construction, metal-lined and secured with heavy metal crossbars.
- Door jams must be solid.
- Outside: Motion detector lights should be used.
- Alarm system should be well-advertised.
- Minimal landscaping close to home, which could provide cover for a criminal.
- Other tips: Keep accurate records of serial numbers on items to help with recovery.
- Anchor equipment whenever possible to a secure base and delay theft.
Breaking & Entering (Automobiles)
Theft is most often a crime of opportunity. If your vehicle looks easy to break into or steal, thieves will be more likely to act on their instinct. There is no sure way to prevent your vehicle from being broken into, but there are ways to decrease your risks significantly.
- When parking your vehicle remember to stay in a well-lit area and near lots a people.
- Place personal belongings out of sight. either inside the passenger area of your vehicle or place in the trunk.
- Keep vehicles locked with the windows rolled all the way up.
- Install a car alarm system. Most pedestrians will turn and look when hearing the audible alarm activate. Thieves do not like to have attention drawn to their presence.
- Lock your steering wheel with proper locking mechanism. Additional signs of theft protection devices discourage thieves from attempting to tamper with your vehicle.
- When walking from your vehicle look around to observe people that appear suspicious or don't appear to have any reason to be there. For example, a person walking around in a shopping center parking lot looking around at others.