Look here for a new crime prevention topic every month.
October is Crime Prevention Month, a great time to teach teens some basic crime prevention tips to keep them streetwise and safe. You can share the following information with teens during Community Works’ neighborhood safety lessons, Session 4: Safe and Secure Communities or Session 5: Where Are We Safe and Unsafe?
Use Your Street Senses
- Stay alert and tuned into your surroundings no matter where you are—at school, the mall, on the street, in your neighborhood, waiting for a bus or the subway, or driving.
- Walk tall! Send the message that you’re calm, confident, and know where you’re going. Walk with your head upright and stand straight and tall.
- Don’t accept rides or gifts from someone you don’t know well and trust.
- Know the neighborhoods where you live, go to school, and work. Keep in mind the locations of fire and police stations and public telephones. Remember which stores and restaurants stay open late.
- Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or situation and leave as soon as possible.
Stay Streetwise While Strolling
- Try to walk places with your friends rather than alone.
- Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
- Take the safest route to and from schools, stores, or your friends’ houses.
- Don’t display your cash or any other personal items such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
- Carry your backpack or purse close to your body and keep it closed.
- Have your car or house key in your hand before you reach the door.
- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person is still there, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a well-lighted house. Don’t be afraid to yell for help.
- Call the police or tell an adult about anything you see that seems suspicious.
Street Smarts: Driving and Riding
- If you’re taking the bus or subway, use well-lighted, busy stops. If you must get off at a little-used stop, try to arrange for a friend or adult to meet you.
- Watch who disembarks at your bus stop with you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place where there are other people.
- When driving, avoid parking in isolated areas. If you feel uncomfortable, ask a security guard or store clerk to watch you or escort you to your car.
- Make sure there’s enough gas in your car to drive to your destination and back.
- Only use your cell phone while driving in an emergency (for example, if you are being followed or you’ve been in or have seen an accident). Otherwise, stay off your phone while driving.