Crime and Prevention: Do your part to stay safe

Jason Barham

Jason Barham

We are fortunate to live in the community that we do. However, no community is immune to crime and its effects. In this column we will address ways law enforcement and citizens can work together to fight crime.

Crime prevention is based on the premise that for a crime to be completed, the criminal must have the ability, desire and opportunity. Through prevention techniques we will focus on ways to remove or reduce the opportunity of a crime being committed.

This month we will focus on personal safety. In the months to come we will address specific issues such as: home security, auto burglary and theft, identity theft, crime prevention for business’ and safety tips for joggers and walkers, just to name a few. The following precautions will not guarantee safety, but they should serve to minimize criminal opportunities.

• Park in well-lighted areas if there is any chance that you may be returning to your vehicle after dark.

• When approaching your vehicle, scan the surrounding area and even under your vehicle. Look inside the vehicle before entering.

• Have your keys ready when approaching your vehicle to reduce the time needed to enter.

• Try not to park next to vans, large SUVs or other vehicles whose size and structure can provide concealment for a criminal.

• Look around for loiterers before unlocking or exiting your vehicle.

• If you breakdown, be cautious about exiting your vehicle. Call for help from the vehicle, if a cell phone is available and turn on emergency flashers. Should someone stop to offer assistance, open the window slightly and ask them to contact the police.

• If followed while driving, do not drive home. Contact police if cell phone is available and drive to a safe, populated area that is well lighted.

• Limit travel after dark and try to have someone with you if you must travel at that time.

• If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body, preferably in front. Carry no more money or credit cards than you absolutely need.

• If the attacker only wants your valuables, give them up. Valuables can be replaced; your life cannot.

• Listen to your instincts. Don’t dismiss suspicious people, cars or situations; report it to the police.

Thank you for your commitment and partnership in keeping this community a safe place for us all to live, work and raise our families.

© 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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