Crime is caused by access, opportunity and motivation. While there is little that you can do to remove an offender's motivation to commit crime, you can remove both access and opportunity by following some of the suggestions below.
HOME & BUSINESS
- Lock all doors and windows. Whether you are at home or away, keeping these locked and secured will deter criminals.
- Keep bushes, trees and shrubberies trimmed and away from windows and doors. This allows better visibility from inside of your house looking out and removes potential hiding spots or concealment for offenders.
- When traveling, ask a neighbor or friend to pick up mail and newspapers or contact those services directly and have them hold your mail or newspapers. Five days worth of newspapers is a sure sign to a criminal that no one is home!
- Add exterior lighting, such as motion sensor lights or spot lights, to the outside of your home or business to improve visibility at night.
- Stay alert! If something doesn't look right on your street or in your neighborhood, call it in. If it doesn't look right or feel right, it's not right; call 911 and report it.
- Consider installing an alarm system.
- If you rent or lease a property, make sure you have adequate renters insurance.
VEHICLE SAFETY & SECURITY
- Lock all doors and roll up your windows. Most vehicle break-ins occur with unlocked vehicles where a criminal simply opens the door and takes what they see fit. Always lock up your vehicle.
- Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas. Try to avoid parking in dark corners of parking lots or in areas with very little activity as these areas will naturally attract those looking for targets to break and enter.
- Keep electronics out of sight! GPS units, cellular phones, laptops, purses and wallets laying in plain view give a potential thief easy access and opportunity.
- When returning to your vehicle, avoid loitering outside of your vehicle or inside of your vehicle sitting stationary in a parking lot. Get to your vehicle, get in it quickly and lock your doors.
- When possible, walk with at least one other person. Safety in numbers
- Pay attention to your surroundings! A person walking alone listening to an iPod or MP3 player looking down at the ground is a much easier target than a person walking alone who is actively scanning their surroundings and noting potential suspicious people, vehicles or conditions.
- Avoid dark and unlit alleys, streets and parking lots. Reduced or absent lighting makes it difficult for you to spot potential threats to your safety, whether they be man made or natural.
- Carry a cellular phone with you, if possible. If not, make sure someone knows where you are planning on going, how long you'll be there, and when you plan to return home.
- When in new or unfamiliar areas, it never hurts to have amap handy!
- Follow all applicable vehicle laws such as signaling when turning, stopping for red lights and stop signs, riding on the right side of the road, etc.
- When riding at night, make sure you have at least a headlight and rear reflector.
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
- Check tires, breaks, handlebars and seats before each ride.
- If a sidewalk is available, state law requires you to use the sidewalk regardless of what side of the road you're on.
- Avoid distractions such as cellular phones and portable media players, especially when crossing streets or in parking lots.
- If you are using an iPod or MP3 player, make sure you leave at least one ear uncovered; you'll be able to hear vehicles and other pedestrians approaching.
- If no sidewalk is available, make sure to walk facing traffic on the shoulder or as far to the edge of the road as you reasonably can.
- When walking at night, carry a flashlight and wear bright or reflective clothing so motorists can more easily spot you.