Street Safety Tips
· Walk quickly and purposeful with your head up and as if you know where you are going.
· Try to walk with someone whenever you can, especially after dark.
· Avoid walking alone, especially when under medication, drunk, or in an intense emotional state.
· Avoid walking near large bushes, hedges, parked cars, etc.
· If necessary, walk in the street.
· If you must walk, vary your routine and route.
· Walk in familiar neighborhoods and on familiar streets.
· Walk only in well-lighted areas at night.
· Walk near the street when on a sidewalk.
· Walk facing traffic, and on busy streets.
· Avoid shortcuts especially after dark.
· Be aware of the immediate environment and look for hiding spots.
· If being followed, reverse directions, change speed, stay in well lit areas, stay in public areas, go into populated store, be alert, cross the street, and go to a police, fire or gas station, or neighbor's house.
· If you are being pursued by a mugger, you may find refuge in a nearby phone booth. Once inside, lean against the door so the mugger can't get in. Call the police at 911. Its a free call.
· Avoid people and places which make you feel uneasy.
· Do not hesitate to yell for help if confronted.
· Acquaint children with safety practices.
· Do not keep money and valuables in one place.
· Be alert when using automatic teller machines.
· Avoid wearing stereo headphones.
· Keep your hands free. Never overload yourself. Carry only small loads at a time.
· Keep personal belongings on or near your possession.
· Keep weapons in readily-accessible places. Know how to use them if you carry them.
· Keep your keys in hand and ready as you approach your car or home.
· Carry a shoulder strap purse with flap facing your body.
· Carry short strap purses like a football.
· Do not approach a car asking for directions, give them from the curb.
· Carry phone change at all times, and notice the location of police call boxes on the street.
· If someone attempts to rob you, don't be a hero/heroine. Cooperate and surrender valuables. Get a good description and report the crime immediately.
· Defend yourself if physically attacked.
· Know the time tables if using public transportation.
· Do not carry all your money in your purse or wallet.
· Do not carry more money or valuables than you can afford to lose.
· Don't carry identification, valuables, or keys in the same place.
· On a busy street, keep purse, briefcase, etc. on side away from curb.
· Do not wear a whistle on a chain around your neck.
· Keep a safe distance from strangers.
· A dangling bag is an invitation to the purse snatcher. Proper technique for carrying a pocketbook is the bag is held secure, with flap facing the body. Do not grip it so tight that it will attract a mugger's attention.
· Take precautions in parking lots. Be careful not to approach a car. If you are asked for directions, give them from the curb.
· Get to know an area before walking alone in it.
Protecting Yourself From Bag/Purse Snatchers
Bag and purse snatching occurs regularly in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg area. The bag snatcher often lurks in crowds, while you are shopping, at sporting events, restaurants, entertainment centers, on public transport, or simply while you're walking down the street. Women are often the victims of these snatchers. But with some careful planning you can usually outsmart them. Following is some advice that will help protect your valuables
- Never carry an open shopping bag or basket with your purse exposed.
- Don't walk with your bag swinging loose in your hand or over your arm. Tuck it under your arm pit and hold it firmly instead, making sure the strap isn't hanging loose.
- When walking along a footpath, walk close to the building side with your handbag under the arm closest to the fence or building.
- Walk on the footpath against the flow of traffic, this prevents vehicles (as well as bicycles) driving up behind you and alongside you.
- When you are seated in a restaurant, theatre or public transport, never leave your purse on a vacant seat or on the floor. Place it on your lap or if you wish to put it down on the floor put your foot through the strap (just remember to remove your foot from the strap before you get up!)
- Don't advertise the fact that you are carrying sums of money by opening your purse when others can see into it. It is better to ask for a check than cash if you are receiving large sums of money. It may also be safer to use a credit card to pay for purchases than to carry large sums of cash.
- In the supermarket, don't leave your handbag or purse in the top of the food-cart and then turn you back to select items from the shelves or place your purse on the check-out counter.
- When unloading your shopping into a car, lock your purse or handbag inside the car or place it inside the trunk first. Don't leave it on the roof of the car or in the food-cart.
There are reports of automatic teller machine (ATM) robberies, but you can reduce the risk of someone robbing you by following these simple rules, especially at night.
If you suspect that someone is watching you, or a suspicious person is loitering near by, DON'T use the ATM but move away quickly.
Report to police as soon as possible ANY event at an ATM including suspicious person or behavior.
DON'T stand too close behind someone else using an ATM, stand well back until they have finished.
Be alert to the people around you or who may be watching from nearby. Don't count your money where others can easily see you. Put your cash away into a wallet or purse and into a pocket or bag as soon as possible. You can count and check your cash and receipt later.
While you are waiting for the ATM to process your instructions, try to stand so you have the best view of what's going on around you. Stand with you back to the machine looking out is ideal.
If you think someone has started to follow you, be ready to move away quickly. If you drove to an ATM, keep your keys in your hand so you can quickly get into your car. If you are on foot, move quickly to a place where you know other people will be around (like a nearby shop or Service Station).
Avoid going to isolated ATMs late at night or early in the morning.
Avoid going to isolated ATMs on your own.
Lock your car while at the ATM to avoid both theft from the car and also to prevent someone hiding in the rear seat.
Try and locate an ATM convenient to you but located inside a 24 hour shop or Service Station for SAFE after hours use.
When you leave the ATM, if you feel that someone is following you, go quickly to any 24 hour business and call police.