Statistics released following a study conducted by the New York University Law School would have us believe that crime rates are dropping across the United States. The rates for overall crimes, violent crime and murder are expected to fall in the country’s 30 largest cities but that doesn’t mean that people can become complacent.
The harsh reality is that crime lurks even in the safest of neighborhoods. Intruders, break-ins, stalkers, identity-thieves, con-artists, burglars, hate-crime and many other dangers exist and it takes a split second for your life to be transformed forever.
You can’t be too careful where your safety and security and that of your loved ones are concerned. There are lots of measures you can take to anticipate, prevent and protect yourself from crime.
Don’t be a victim!
Crime crosses all barriers of race, gender, age, socio-economic status, ethnicity and nationality – a reality. Victims and perpetrators come from all possible walks of life. Law-enforcement agencies can protect you to a certain extent, but prevention and vigilance are essential.
Remember that very few crimes are opportunistic ones. They’re not random or chance events. Most of them are well-planned and criminals choose their victims carefully. Staying safe means staying one step ahead of a potential criminal.
Top 10 Tips To Ensure You’re Safe
- Make Safety a Habit and Priority: Whether you’re out jogging, with your kids in the park, entering a parking-lot, out on the street, driving home from work or returning from a party, make sure you have all your senses on alert. Allowing yourself to take safety for granted can be dangerous. For instance if you don’t ensure that your burglar-alarms are well-maintained, CCTV cameras are functional, you’re entering a lonely area alone etc, these can cause irremediable problems later.
- Trust your instincts: Analyze your own reactions to people and the environment. We all have an extra sense when it comes to safety, but we seldom pay attention. These are the subliminal messages that our brain is sending us based on previous experience, old information, something you’ve seen/read/heard-about. Our internal alarms shouldn’t be ignored.
- Avoid Sending Victim Signals: Appearing less-confident, unsure, conveying that you’re new to the place, are lost or confused, distracted etc are sure-fire ways to attract crooks. They are looking for people who aren’t focused, alert or confident. Look people in the eye, let them know you’re aware of them.
- Fight or Flight?: This is a judgment that people make based on many things. The same person may choose either option depending on the circumstances, type of threat/criminal, location, time etc. It’s important not to be rigid in making the decision. Often, it’s better to let your purse or valuables go when you’re mugged rather than risk being stabbed, shot or hit on the head.
- Take Self-defense Classes: It’s essential that you train your mind and body to react quickly. Petty criminals often get intimidated by someone who fights back, screams, etc. Keeping your body/mind/senses on alert is one of the big benefits of self-defense training. It also gives you confidence and power.
- Home Alone: Never be careless about safety in/around your home. Break-ins/rape/burglary are perpetrated by criminals who have studied your home, safety-features and routine. Keep doors/windows secure, security-systems armed, grounds well-lit. If you notice loiterers/suspicious characters/strange vehicles, make a note of them, with complete description and photos if possible. Text your friends/relatives. Don’t keep cash/valuables at home, give out your phone-number randomly. Inform neighbors if you’re going to be away.
- Avoid Rigid Routines: Maybe you’re proud of your punctuality and organizing skills. But they could be just what attracts a criminal. Change your timings and routes often. Go to cash-machines during the daylight hours. Don’t flaunt your wealth/valuables.
- Drive Safe: Keep your vehicle in top condition. Don’t pick up strangers, always wear a seatbelt, keep doors and windows locked. Never fall for gimmicks like strangers stopping to report your flat tire, fallen bumper etc. Inform someone about your plans.
- Timings: Crime rates shoot up during festive seasons, early mornings, midnight.
- Avoid distractions: Ditch your headphones, avoid texting/answering calls while driving, walking or jogging.
Safety is something that has to become an everyday habit. Ensure that you’re in charge of your own security and don’t blindly trust someone else to take care of you. Be proactive, smart and alert at all times so that you can get enough time to relax, enjoy what is rightfully yours and ensure that you remain safe.
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