Courtesy of the 1st Precinct and Transit District 2:
Four ways to increase your personal safety are:
- Reduce or eliminate opportunities that may make you a target.
- Increase awareness in places you’re most comfortable.
- Trust your instincts regardless of feeling embarrassed.
- Prepare your schedule daily with safety in mind.
Carry purses, portfolios or briefcases in a manner that will allow you to let go. Straps placed across your shoulder, around your neck or wrapped around your waist have caused injuries because women could not free themselves during a purse snatch.
Always be aware of your surroundings and carry your pocketbook clasp towards you, close to your body, tucked in the bend of your elbow as if it was a football. If there is a long strap, wrap it around the bag.
If someone attempts to snatch your pocketbook, let go of it, especially if there is a weapon involved. When dining out, the only place for your purse should be your lap. The back of a chair is an easy target tor a thief. Never carry a wallet in
a rear pocket, use a front trouser or an inside coat pocket.
Be particuarly aware of your purse/wallet in crowded situations, such as rush hour trains and buses. If you are jostled in a crowd, be aware that a pickpocket might be responsible. Beware of arguments or commotions designed to distract you while your pocket or purse is being picked.
Minimize the amount of money, credit cards and valuables you carry by only taking items that are necessary for the day. Divide money between your purse/Wallet and pockets. Carry your keys on your person separate from your identification.
Walking — Be Street Smart
Use well-populated and well-lit streets. If you suspect you’re being followed, stay away from deserted blocks and head for an area where people are or the nearest open store. If you’re driven home, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside.
Should a motorist bother you while you are walking, reverse your direction. If you are still followed, seek a safe location and yell for help, if possible.
Holiday Safety Tips
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Criminals often target people who are distracted.
- Whether driving, walking or taking public transportation, plan the trip in advance. Know how to get to your destination by the most direct and safest route.
- Stay in designated waiting areas or in view of the station booth clerk while awaiting your train. Never walk or stand near the edge of the subway platform.
- Travel on populated, well lit streets. If possible, travel with a friend.
- Avoid leaving valuables in your car. Whenever possible, place items out of sight in the trunk of your vehicle prior to reaching your destination. Never leave packages in the passenger compartment unattended.
- When driving, keep your doors locked and the windows closed. Make sure the gas tank is full. Maintain your car in good working order to avoid breakdowns.
- Plan your purchases in advance and carry only the amount of cash or number of credit cards necessary to make the purchase. If you must carry a large sum of money, divide the cash between your purse, pockets and wallet.
- Carry your purse close to your body. Place one end of the purse in the palm of your hand and the other in the bend of the elbow. Never wrap the strap around your body.
- When in a restaurant, don’t leave your handbag over the back of your chair or on the floor. Don’t leave belongings unattended.
- Be wary of telephone and email solicitations asking for personal information about your accounts, passwords or social security number.
- As a consumer you should avoid illegal vendors selling goods on the street. Purchase merchandise only from licensed vendors or reputable stores. Follow your instincts. Remember, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
- Be wary of con artists. Con artists use a number of ploys to trick you and steal your property. Some divert your attention while another picks your pocket, some pose as utility workers or as a trades person to gain access to the inside of your home, while others conduct scams that are more elaborate involving several con artists.
- If you are carrying a wallet, carry it in the breast pocket of your jacket or in your side pants pocket. The rear pants pocket is the easiest to pick.
Defeat a Thief: Safe Subway Riding Tips
- Thieves snatch electronic devices just as the subway’s door open or close, when you’re distracted.
- Don’t let an open door be an invitation to a thief
- Don’t block the door, know your surroundings
- Stay ALERT, especially when listening to music
- Don’t stay by train doors
- Stay with others during off-peak hours
- Use designated waiting areas
- Ride in the conductors car
- Keep electronic devices hidden
- Be Alert for staged distractions
- Carry handbag / wallet up front
…and REMEMBER IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING