In an emergency, dial 911
Three factors must be present for crime to occur: desire, ability, and opportunity. While citizens may not be able to change an individual’s desire and ability to commit a crime, they can significantly reduce that person’s opportunity by following simple crime-prevention rules.
Crime is prevented when citizens develop good habits that take away the opportunity for criminals to operate.
- Use your door viewer before opening your door.
- Secure your home before leaving it. Unless it is used, the world’s best lock is useless.
- Don’t hide your house key under mats, over doors, or in flower pots.
- Use interior and exterior lighting to discourage unwanted visitors.
- Have keys ready in your hand for fast entry to your home.
- Report suspicious loiterers in your neighborhood to the police.
- Place identification markers on all property. Most burglars will not steal marked property.
- If you know people who live alone, remind them not to list their addresses in the telephone directory.
- Demand identification before admitting sales or repair people, especially if you were not expecting them.
- Leave the bathroom light on while sleeping or away at night. A lit bathroom light gives the impression that someone is home and up, which can deter a burglar.
- Plan your route ahead of time, and never walk alone at night. Arrange to walk with a friend or a dog.
- Use well-lit streets, not dark alleys or bushy areas.
- Carry signaling devices like shrill alarms, shriek alarms, or a whistle to summon help in case of attack.
- Be alert! Look over your shoulder occasionally.
- Never ask for or accept rides from strangers.
- Avoid displaying or carrying large amounts of money.
- Avoid wearing or displaying valuable jewelry in public.
- Don’t resist an armed robber. Hand over whatever is demanded quickly and quietly. Your life and safety are worth more than your personal effects.
- If possible, don’t carry a purse.
- Carry your purse against the front of your body, with your forearm across the front of the purse and your elbow held tightly against your side.
- Carry your keys, wallet, and other valuables in coat or pants pockets.
- Carry only minimal amounts of cash and few credit cards. Keep a record of card numbers in a safe location in your home in case your cards are lost or stolen.
- Carry the purse over your shoulder, and wear a coat over the purse if possible.
- Don’t let your purse hang loosely in your hand. Doing so invites a thief to grab it.
- Never carry anything you can’t afford to lose in your purse. If a purse carrying valuables is snatched, you may want to fight to keep it. It’s better to surrender your purse than to fight for it.
- Always look inside your car before entering.
- Make sure all doors are locked before starting the car.
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- If a stranger approaches while you are in your car, keep your windows closed, your door locked, and the engine running.
- Install a trunk release button inside the car.
- Engrave automobile stereo systems with your driver’s license number before installation.
- Remember to park in well-lit areas at night.
- Keep the ignition key with you at all times.
- Lock all doors when leaving your car.
- Use your garage.
- Protect tires and rims with wheel locks.
- Consider using a good automobile burglar alarm system.
- Use locking gas caps or antisiphon screens.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car. Put them in the trunk or cover them if you don’t have a trunk.
Call the police immediately if you are attacked. Ask witnesses to stay until the police arrive.
This is an excerpt from Teaching Self-Defense in Secondary Physical Education.