Monday, December 5, 2011

Street crime prevention tips from MPD First District Commander

Some good advice went out to MPD's 1D listserve earlier today. 

This week I would like to take the opportunity to provide some crime prevention tips to the First District Community. I’m sure that many of you are aware that at this particular time of year we often see a spike in some categories of crimes so this would be a good time to review different prevention tips.
When police managers look at crime prevention we consider the “prevention triangle”: the Offender, the Location and the Victim. The prevention tips that we will provide in this series focuses on what individuals can do to make themselves less vulnerable to being a victim. I compiled these tips through my own experience and training, as well as contributions from co-workers. All of the 1D PSA Lieutenant contributed to this compilation of tips and ideas; I also hope that you feel free to discuss these with the officer and sergeants who work in your community. Each day will focus on a different crime and for the first day we will focus on Robberies.
Robbery Prevention
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, vigilant of activity around you and attentive to individuals approaching
  • Walk purposely and with confidence, avoid starring at the ground so that you can be aware, vigilant and attentive
  • Do not allow yourself to be distracted by activity such as talking on your cell phone, listening to music or reading
  • Try to travel with others, walk in well-traveled areas, and at night in well-lighted areas
  • Protect your electronics by not displaying them
    • Resist the urge to multi-task while walking; wait to make phone calls, check your email and listen to music at your destination
    • Purchase black or dark colored ear buds
    • If you must listen to a device with ear buds, consider running the bud wires underneath your outer clothing to minimize visibility of the device
    • If you purchase an electronic device check to see if there is a tracking system available for the device
  • Do not use ATMs that are located in remote areas, try to use ATMs during the daylight hours in well populated areas
  • Do not display large amounts of cash when paying for items in public, and do not display excessive jewelry
  • Men: if you carry wallet, place the wallet in your front hip pocket or inside jacket pocket- do not carry in your back pant pocket
  • Women: when you will be walking in public spaces carry a small handbag or purse that you can grasp with a hand.
Of all the tips presented above the number one step that citizens can take to help prevent robberies is to not use your smart phone and/or I-pods while walking on a public street. The use of these devices distracts you from paying full attention to your surroundings and it advertises to suspects that you have something of value that can easily be snatched.
While no one can tell you what to do when confronted by a robber- we strongly recommend that you comply with the robber’s demands for property, particularly if they are armed with a weapon or if you feel threatened. Property can always be replaced.
Commander Daniel Hickson
Metropolitan Police Department
First District

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