Personal safety: Don't be a victim

You’re often told not to be a victim of crime. How do you ensure that?

While no one can guarantee your total safety, you can lessen the chance of being a victim by making it more difficult for a would-be thief or attacker.

At home: Don’t be surprised

Keep your doors locked when home alone and lock your windows too when leaving the house for any long period. Open doors and windows are an invitation you don’t want to send. Turn your porch lights on at night and illuminate your backyard to ensure that anyone lurking there will be easily detected.

On the street: Be alert

Make sure you are not an easy target for crime on the street. Carry your purse in a manner that makes it hard to get: across your chest or under your arm where more than a simple grab is needed to snatch it. Men should carry their wallets in their inside coats or side pants pocket, never in your back pants pocket where it is easy to grab.

If you walk to and from work or public transit stations, particularly at night, use well-lit and populated streets. When possible, walk with friends and, if you can, vary the route you take each day or night.

On public transit: Be prepared

Have the exact fare ready before you leave home so that there is no need to open a purse or wallet. During late night or early morning stay near the agent on duty in subways and when possible sit on the aisle seat where you will have more mobility should trouble occur.

In your car: Secure your ride

Lock your doors and be sure to store your purse, wallet or other valuables beneath your seat, not on the seat next to you where they are easy and inviting targets for theft. Park in a well lit area for the safety of your car and yourself and always lock your car. If you notice that the street lights are out, call 311 or your Police District’s Community Policing Office to make sure this "condition for crime" is remedied.

Going home: Be ready

Always carry your keys in your hands so that you're ready to open the door. If you know you'll be coming home after dark, make sure to leave some lights on.

Wherever you are: Protect yourself

• Walk, ride or jog w ith a partner.
• Avoid dark isolated places – don’t walk or park there.
• Be alert, look around.
• Keep at least one hand free – don’t carry bulky purses or packages.
• When you are alone, avoid wearing headphones or talking on your cell phone.
• Late at night, have someone meet you at the bus stop or train station. Have the taxi driver watch while you enter your home.
• On public transp ortation, try to use the busiest, best-lit stop possible both to get on and off the bus or train. When waiting for a train, stay close to other people in the most well-lit area of the station. Whe n on the train or bus, sit near the driver or operator.
• After dark, tell family and friends when to expect you and how you will be traveling.
• When at a bar, never lose sight of your drink.
• Have your house and car keys out and ready to use.
• Follow your instincts – if you feel threatened go to the nearest open store or business.

Remember: There is safety in numbers

• Ignoring your instincts is not worth the risk.
• Don’t be afraid or too shy to ask for someone to walk you to your car or home. • Adopt a frame of mind that allows you to recognize and avoid potential threats on the street.
• If you feel threatened, call 911 immediately.

You have the power – the community is in your strength. Remember, a crime-free city requires that everyone report suspicious activity by calling 911 and report conditions that make crime possible by calling 311.

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