Street Smart Teens

October 2006 article

October is Crime Prevention Month! Help teach teens about crime prevention, as they are more victimized by crime than any other age group. Share the following 10 tips with teens to help them be safe, vigilant, and street smart.

    1. Stay alert and tuned into your surroundings wherever you are--at school or the mall, on the street, waiting for a bus or subway, or driving.
    2. Send the message that you’re calm, confident, and know where you’re going.
    3. Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
    4. Don’t accept rides or gifts from someone you don’t know well and trust--that includes people you’ve met on the Internet.
    5. Know the neighborhoods where you live, go to school, and work. Keep in mind locations of fire and police stations and public telephones. Remember which stores and restaurants stay open late.
    6. Take the safest route to and from school, stores, or your friends’ houses. Know where to go for help if you need it.
    7. Don’t display your cash or any other inviting targets such as cell phones or expensive jewelry and clothing.
    8. Carry your backpack or purse close to your body and keep it closed. If you are just carrying a wallet, put it inside your coat or front pants pocket, not in your back pocket or backpack.
    9. Have your car or house key in your hand before you reach the door.
    10. Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or situation and leave as soon as possible.
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