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Personal Safety

Personal Safety Tips for Walking

  • Have a plan, be suspicious, be aware of your surroundings, walk with confidence.
  • Walk with a friend whenever possible.
  • Avoid dark streets, high shrubbery, short cuts, and dark doorways. Try to walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Maintain a secure grip on handbags or purse;, keep the flap towards your body. If someone tries to grab the purse let him/her have it.
  • When you think you are being followed, you can: Turn and walk directly towards the individual and cross the street. Look the individual in the eye. Go to an open business, such as an all-night market, gas station, Police or Fire station, hospital emergency room, hotel lobby, etc.
  • Keep change with you in case you need to make a call. You can dial 911 on a pay phone without depositing change.
  • Be wary of newly acquired acquaintances. Don't reveal personal information to new found friends. Wherever you are stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
  • Communicate the message that you're calm, confident, and know where you are going. Stand tall, walk purposefully, and make quick eye contact with people around you.
  • If you walk at night constantly vary your routes.
  • If you work late at night, arrange to leave with a co-worker or be accompanied by a security officer. Make sure your car is parked as close to the entrance as possible or move it to a safe spot in the late afternoon when people are leaving.
  • Keep your car locked and check the back seat and floor before getting in.
  • Don't overload yourself with packages and don't wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements.
  • Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or other tempting targets such as jewelry or expensive clothing.
  • Carry a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket.
  • Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Find out what stores and restaurants are open late and know the locations of police and fire stations.
  • If you are in an unfamiliar neighborhood, take a few minutes to look around for stores, telephones, and street lights.
  • Have your house or car keys in hand as you approach your vehicle or home.
  • Make your neighborhood and workplace safe by reporting broken street lights; clean up parks and vacant lots; lobby local government for better lighting in public places.
  • If you see a crime being committed, call the police immediately and stay with the victim until help arrives. Be supportive and offer to accompany the victim to the hospital or police station.