safety in your community
8 Tips on Safety in Your Community (2020)
October 11, 2019
Creating A Secure Culture For Your Business 
March 19, 2020

Security Awareness Tips in 2020

 

According to the FBI Crime Clock Statistics, a person becomes a victim of property crime every four seconds. A violent crime occurs every 26 seconds. An aggravated assault takes place every 37 seconds. And every 78 seconds, one rape happens. “The sad reality is that it’s not if, but when, you will become a victim,” a judge stated. Would you know what to do if you happen to be the victim in these situations? Here are a handful of security tips you can use to avoid putting yourself in situations which might jeopardize your safety.

 

1. Situational Awareness

A recent study revealed that criminals are often able to detect vulnerable targets within seconds. The likelihood that a person will become a victim of a violent crime doesn’t depend on how strong or weak some is, or whether they are male or female. It’s about how attentive they are to their surroundings.

 Criminals focus on an “opportunity” to attack, especially if there is a lack of witnesses, or the creation of a vulnerable target. In fact, the chance of being detected affects a criminal’s decision to commit a crime. Having more people around you is one way to reduce criminal opportunity but being more aware of surroundings is another proactive method to reduce your chances of being targeted by criminals.  

 Pedestrians who look lost, are distracted by cellphones, are rummaging through their bags, or are listening to music with both earbuds in their ears, are suitable victims to street robbers. While you are walking, keep attention at everything around you. The first step to be secure is noticing who is near you. Be alert for suspicious persons, especially around banks, gas stations, street, and your car or home

2. Fight or Flight

Places like public elevators, dark alleyways, secluded parking lots, and areas with reduced lighting are excellent spots for predators to find victims. People walk in these areas, especially when they are alone, are vulnerable targets because there’s a small chance people can hear them or help them. To reduce your risk of being a crime victim, you must detect dangerous situations before they escalate and react immediately when they do.

If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. Many individuals suppress these feelings because they fear their act will insult or embarrass someone. However, react to your intuition and don’t worry about someone else’s feelings. If someone approaches you and you feel uncomfortable, move in the opposite direction or ask for assistance.

If someone attacks you, be a difficult target and do not be an easy victim. Shout, resist, fight scream. Statistics show that 60% of women attacked escape unharmed by merely screaming. The most important thing is you need to stay calm and know what you are doing in these situations. Take some self-defense courses and have a panic button app in your phone may prove to be helpful someday.

3. Parking Lot Safety

More than 1 in 10 property crimes occurred in parking lots, which made them notorious for being dangerous places according to Bureau of Justice Statistics. With little pedestrian activity, poor visibility due to inadequate lighting, and plenty of places to hide, there are ideal opportunities for would-be criminals to spot victims. 

If you can, try to park in highly visible, well-lighted areas, and be aware of a large van or SUV parked next to your car. Kidnappers, serial killers, and rapists often attack their victims by pulling them into their vans. As you approach your car to get in, scan the area around your car. Walk with your keys in your hand before you reach your car/door or whenever you cross a suspicious area. This reduces the amount of time it takes to get into your car and thereby reducing your exposure to attack.

If at any time you feel uncomfortable or threatened, park somewhere else.  If you are returning to your car and feel suspicious, return to the building and find a security person or employee that can assist you.  Never take your personal safety for granted, regardless of how “safe” you think an area is. Assailants could be lurking anywhere, don’t become their victims!

4. Taking Crime Prevention to Work

When you are at work, don’t leave your sense of safety at home. Crimes happen anywhere, no matter if it’s your home, your neighborhood, or your workplace. Violent crime in the workplace takes many forms, from profanity or sexual harassment to robbery or homicide. In fact, 75 percent of work-related homicides are committed by unknown criminals while committing crimes, such as robbery. 

Lock up personal belongings, find a buddy to walk with if you work late, make yourself an emergency plan in case of hazards, and speak out when you feel unsafe are good habits to practice at work. After the business closes for the night, making sure all doors and windows are locked is critical. As explained above, most crimes occur because the opportunities exist. 

In fact, security needs in office buildings and apartments have increased in recent years.  New and growing external security threats, including acts of terrorism, active shooter incidents, theft, burglary, vandalism must be considered. Over 65 percent of all active shooter incidents are within a commercial business or educational setting. The latest on workplace violence statistics in 2018-2019 also revealed that workplace assaults costs business $121 billion annual losses. What was not a security need last year may be one this year. If it means investing in a surveillance system or hiring professional security guards to secure your business/home against some of the external threats discussed above, take the steps you need to.

Tom Tamar
Tom Tamar
Tom Tamar is the President & C.E.O. at City Wide Protection Services, Inc. The security firm specializes in a full range of security services, consultation and training. Tom is an active SDCAA supplier member and serves in several committees including the Legislative and Editorial Advisory Board.

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