*Always pay attention to your surroundings. Be aware of your environment.
*Consider shopping with others. There is safety in numbers.
*Avoid walking alone in dark, isolated areas –such as back parking lots.
*Wear reflective clothing and dress comfortably.
*Keep your wallet or purse close to your body.
*Avoid carrying too many bags or packages. Keep your hands as free as possible.
*Avoid carrying large amounts of cash –use an ATM/Debit card when possible.
*Be careful to protect your identity. If you notice unusual banking or account activity, call the police and report it. Also report the incident to your bank.
*Young children should always be accompanied by parents while shopping.
*Teach children their full name, phone number, and address.
*Role-playing can be an effective way to teach children safety. While shopping show your children places they can go if they get lost or separated such as a help desk or security office.
*Teach children “Stranger Danger”, and how to make noise, kick, and scream if approached by a stranger.
Protect Your Vehicle:
*Lock your doors.
*Park in well-lighted locations.
*Avoid parking in isolated areas.
*Never leave your motor running unattended.
*Take all personal property out of your vehicle every time you leave –including packages and gifts. Hide property that you have to leave behind that is of value, such as coins, cell phones or laptop computers.
*Consider installing an alarm system with a kill switch and using a steering wheel locking mechanism.
Secure Your Home:
*Ensure that your home’s windows and doors have secondary locks (window pis, dowels, deadbolts, etc.).
*Keep landscaping trimmed back so that you can easily see around your property.
*Turn your porch lights on at night. Consider installing timers or photo sensors so that your porch lights and holiday lights come on automatically.
*Consider keeping gifts and expensive property out of plain view from the outside. Keep ground level blinds and curtains closed while away and at night.
*Consider having a trusted neighbor or friend watch your home while you are away. Ask your neighbor to occasionally park their car in your driveway. Also be sure to stop your mail and newspaper delivery while you are gone.
*Consider placing an interior light and radio on a timer to come on randomly.
*Never open your door to strangers. Always find who is on the other side of the door before answering. Never let people know you are home alone.
From the Athens-Clarke County Police Department