Bicycles range in cost from the very inexpensive to the outrageously expensive. Most thefts of bicycles are crimes of opportunity. By taking just a few precautions, you can significantly reduce your risk of victimization.
Locks, Your First Line of Defense
Most stolen bicycles are unlocked, even if the owner had one available. Never leave the bike unlocked in public places and never leave the bike unlocked outside of your home at night. It only takes a few seconds to ride away on an unlocked bicycle.
The best lock available for bicycles is a U shaped lock designed specifically for this purpose. They are difficult to cut or break and have a low weight so they are easy to carry with the bicycle. Avoid cheaply made locks. In many cases, you get what you pay for.
Use steel cables or chains to secure bicycles. They should be at least 7/16 inch in diameter and be labeled as having been ‘hardened’. Secure the frame and front wheel with a cable or chain that is at least 6 feet in length. When using either a cable or chain, the padlock used is very important. Make sure the padlock also has at least a 7/16 inch hardened steel shackle.
How and Where to Lock Your Bicycle
Park your bike where there is plenty of pedestrian traffic or where it is clearly visible.
Always attach the bicycle to something immovable such as a bike rack. Make sure the bicycle cannot be removed by simply lifting the cable, chain or lock over the top of your immovable object.
Position the lock as high off the ground as possible. This takes away the leverage of anyone trying to use bolt cutters by bracing one handle against the ground.
Always try to lock both wheels as well as the frame. If you have quick-release wheels remove the front wheel and lock it with the frame at minimum. Never lock your bike by the front or back wheel alone.
Other Protective Measures
Make sure you record the serial number, make, model, color, style, and any distinctive markings or equipment of your bicycle at home. This information will be valuable in reporting your loss to the police. Many bicycles are recovered but go unclaimed every year because the stolen bicycle and found bicycles cannot be matched.
Many police agencies have a bicycle-licensing program to help identify found bicycles. Check with your local law enforcement agency.
Child Safety Issues
Checklist for Children Returning to School
The following are tips to utilize so that your child can maintain proper safety measures in a number of scenarios:
Be sure your child knows his or her phone number and address, your work number, the number of another trusted adult, and how to use 911 for emergencies.
Plan a direct, safe way to walk to school or the bus stop with your child and take the time to walk it with them. Insist that they don't deviate from this route for any reason.
Teach children, whether walking, biking, or riding the bus, to obey all traffic signals, signs, crossing guards, and police officers. Remind them to use extra caution when weather turns bad.
If possible, arrange for them to walk with friends, neighbors, a brother or sister, or a group.
When car pooling, pick up or deliver children as close to the school as possible. Make sure they are on school grounds or in the building before leaving.
Teach your child safety in regards to strangers. Remember that a stranger is anyone you or your children don't know well or don't trust.
Make sure your child checks in with a designated adult as soon as they arrive home from school. Make sure you know when activities will make them later than normal.
Take time to listen to your children and ask often how their school day went. Take any complaints about bullies, fears, or other concerns seriously and discuss them with the school if appropriate.
Children Home Alone
Most families in America have both parents working outside of the home. This certainly creates concern when children arrive home from school at 3 p.m. but Mom and Dad won't be there until after 5 p.m. The following are some guidelines for parents who decide not to use a sitter or another responsible adult for supervision during that time period. Making sure your children know the safety rules will help them, and you, anytime you can't be together.
What You Can Do
Make sure your children are old enough and mature enough to care for themselves.
Teach them basic safety rules.
Know the three "W's" that are important whether you are home or not:
Where - your children are
What - they are doing
Who - they are with
Are They Ready?
Ask yourself if your children can do the following:
Be trusted to go straight home after school?
Easily use the telephone, locks, and kitchen appliances?
Follow rules and instructions well?
Handle unexpected situations without panicking?
Stay alone without being afraid?
A Word About Curiosity
Are there things you don't want your children to get into? Take time to talk to them about the deadly consequences of the following dangers:
Drugs and alcohol
Make sure you keep these items in a secure place out of sight and locked up.
Teach Your "Home Alone" Children
That they must check in with you, a relative, or a neighbor every day. Set a reasonable time for them to arrive home and make clear what will happen if you don't receive their call
How to call 911 for assistance
Their home address and directions to the home if necessary in case of emergency
Never accept gifts or rides from people they don't know well and are approved by you in advance
How to use door and window locks and the alarm system if you have one
Never to let anyone into your home when adults aren't there unless you approve it
Never let a caller at the door or on the phone know that they are alone. Teach them to say that mom / dad can't come to the phone or door right now
To carry a house key with them in a safe place. Do not leave hidden keys outside of the home
How to escape in case of a fire
Not to go into an empty house or apartment if things don't look right - a broken window, ripped screen, or open door
To let you know about anything that frightens them or makes them feel uncomfortable
Teen Dating Violence
Teen Dating Violence
Are you going out with someone who displays any of the following concerning tendencies:
Is jealous and possessive, won't let you have friends, checks up on you, won't accept breaking up
Tries to control you by being bossy, giving orders, making all of the decisions, not taking your opinions seriously
Puts you down in front of friends or tells you that you would be nothing without him or her
Scares you? Makes you worry about reactions to things you say or do? Threatens you? Uses or owns weapons
Is violent? Has a history of fighting, loses temper quickly, brags about mistreating others? Grabs, pushes, shoves, or hits you
Pressures you for sex or is forceful or scary about sex? Gets too serious about the relationship too fast
Abuses alcohol or other drugs and pressures you to take them
Has a history of failed relationships and blames the other person for all of the problems
Makes your family and friends feel uneasy and concerned for your safety
Other Forms of Abuse
If you recognize any of these behaviors, you could be the victim of dating abuse. Dating violence or abuse affects one in ten teen couples. Abuse isn't just hitting. Other forms of abuse include:
Obsessive phone calling
Threatening suicide if you break up
What If You Want Out?
Tell your parents, a friend, a counselor, a clergyman, or someone else that you trust and who can help. The more isolated you are from friends and family, the more control the abuser has over you.
Alert the school counselor or security officers.
Keep a daily log of what you are going through.
Do not meet your partner alone. Do not let him or her in your home or car when you are alone. This is not something you will be able to talk out and resolve alone so do not fall into the trap of being lured into private settings.
Avoid being alone at school, your job, and on the way to and from activities.
Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
Plan and rehearse what you would do if your partner became abusive.
How You Can Help as a Friend
Most teens talk to peers about their problems. If a friend tells you he or she is being victimized, here are some suggestions on how you can help.
Don't ignore obvious signs of abuse; talk to your friend about it.
Express your concerns. Tell your friend that you are worried. Be supportive and don't judge.
Point out your friends strengths. Many people in abusive relationships lose self esteem and feel they deserve what they are putting up with.
Encourage them to confide in an adult they trust. Talk to an adult yourself if you see the situation getting worse. Offer to go with them for help.
Never put yourself in a dangerous situation with the victim's partner. Don't be a mediator.
Call the police if you witness an assault. Tell an adult - a school principal, parent, or guidance counselor immediately.
Crime is everywhere, even in a quiet community like Trenton. Recognizing this unfortunate truth is your first step toward crime prevention. Integrating this awareness into your day to day lifestyle is a practical matter. The security recommendations and tips in this section will provide a starting point for doing just that. These recommendations may not fit the exact situation you are trying to deal with, but be creative and above all use good common sense.
Remember, there are no sure preventatives of crime. Each situation, each crime, each criminal can be different. Your most important defense is to stay aware and be alert!
Being Safe Around Town
Whenever you are on the street, in an office building, or shopping, stay alert and tuned into your surroundings.
Send the message that you're calm, confident, and know where you are going.
Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, get away from that situation as quickly as possible any way you can.
Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Be familiar with the roadways and locations of police stations, fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and businesses and stores that are open late.
On Foot - Day or Night
Stick to well lighted, well traveled streets. Avoid short cuts through wooded areas, parking lots or alleys.
Don't flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
Carry a purse or bag close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back pocket.
Don't wear shoes or clothing that restricts your movements.
Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
If you think someone is following you switch directions or cross the street. Walk to an open store, restaurant, or anyplace else with groups of people. If you are afraid, call for help.
If you must work late, don't go to your car alone. Go with colleagues as a group or if you are afraid call 911 and have an officer escort you to your car. This is a courtesy we are more than happy to extend.
Safety While Driving
Keep your car in good running condition. Check the gas gauge before you leave to make sure you have enough fuel to get where you are going and back.
Always roll up the windows and lock the car doors when you park the car, even if you are coming right back. Always check your car inside and out before you get back in to drive away.
Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in parking lots, or if you're in another community's parking garages.
If you think someone is following you, don't go home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station. If you can't find either of these, a gas station or other open business is your next best choice. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
While driving, always keep all doors locked.
Never pick up hitchhikers.
Using the ATM
Try to use the automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand and don't approach the machine if you are uneasy about people nearby. Always watch for suspicious persons or activity around the ATM. If you notice anything strange, leave and find another machine or come back another time. If you feel uneasy during your transaction, cancel it and leave.
If you do use the ATM after dark, utilize the following tips to do so:
Don't go alone.
Park close to the ATM and lock your car.
If the lights around the ATM machine aren't working, don't use it. Report this to your bank later.
Stand close to the machine so that no one else can see your access codes.
Take all of your transaction receipts with you. Don't throw them away at the ATM.
If you get cash, put it away. Don't count your cash while standing at the ATM.
Never accept help from strangers at the ATM. Ask the bank for help later.
Ask your bank which ATMs have working video cameras. These provide valuable evidence in the event of someone tampering with your account or any other crimes which might happen in the vicinity. If there are no cameras at your banks ATMs ask why and insist they be installed.
If you use a drive-up ATM, keep you vehicle doors locked and other windows up.
Memorize your access code. Don't write it down or carry it with you.
Don't use an access code that's the same as other words or numbers in your wallet.
Never tell your access code to anyone.
Never lend your ATM card to anyone. Treat it like cash or a credit card.
If you lose your ATM card, notify your bank or credit union immediately.
In Ohio law, domestic violence can be charged whenever there is physical harm, or the attempt to cause physical harm, to a family or household member. A family member is anyone you are related to as a blood relative or their spouse, and anyone who is a blood relative or spouse of anyone living in your household, or who has ever lived in your household. A household member is anyone who is living with you or has ever resided with you. Domestic Violence Laws fall under section 2919.25 of the Ohio revised code which reads as follows:
Domestic Violence 2919.25
(A) No person shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member.
(B) No person shall recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member.
(C) No person, by threat of force, shall knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member.
(1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of domestic violence, and the court shall sentence the offender as provided in divisions (D)(2) to (6) of this section.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in divisions (D)(3) to (5) of this section, a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, and a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(4) of this section, if the offender previously has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of domestic violence, a violation of an existing or former municipal ordinance or law of this or any other state or the United States that is substantially similar to domestic violence, a violation of section 2903.14, 2909.06, 2909.07, 2911.12, 2911.211, or 2919.22 of the Revised Code if the victim of the violation was a family or household member at the time of the violation, a violation of an existing or former municipal ordinance or law of this or any other state or the United States that is substantially similar to any of those sections if the victim of the violation was a family or household member at the time of the commission of the violation, or any offense of violence if the victim of the offense was a family or household member at the time of the commission of the offense, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree, and, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(4) If the offender previously has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of two or more offenses of domestic violence or two or more violations or offenses of the type described in division (D)(3) of this section involving a person who was a family or household member at the time of the violations or offenses, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree, and, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(5) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(3) or (4) of this section, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree, and the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
(6) If division (D)(3), (4), or (5) of this section requires the court that sentences an offender for a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section to impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to this division, the court shall impose the mandatory prison term as follows:
(a) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth or fifth degree, except as otherwise provided in division (D)(6)(b) or (c) of this section, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of at least six months.
(b) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of twelve months.
(c) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of at least twelve months.
(d) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree, except as otherwise provided in division (D)(6)(e) of this section and notwithstanding the range of definite prison terms prescribed in division (A)(3) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for a felony of the third degree, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of either a definite term of six months or one of the prison terms prescribed in division (A)(3)(b) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for felonies of the third degree.
(e) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, notwithstanding the range of definite prison terms prescribed in division (A)(3) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for a felony of the third degree, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of either a definite term of one year or one of the prison terms prescribed in division (A)(3)(b) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for felonies of the third degree.
(E) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no court or unit of state or local government shall charge any fee, cost, deposit, or money in connection with the filing of charges against a person alleging that the person violated this section or a municipal ordinance substantially similar to this section or in connection with the prosecution of any charges so filed.
(F) As used in this section and sections 2919.251 and 2919.26 of the Revised Code:
(1) "Family or household member" means any of the following:
(a) Any of the following who is residing or has resided with the offender:
(i) A spouse, a person living as a spouse, or a former spouse of the offender;
(ii) A parent, a foster parent, or a child of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to the offender;
(iii) A parent or a child of a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the offender.
(b) The natural parent of any child of whom the offender is the other natural parent or is the putative other natural parent.
(2) "Person living as a spouse" means a person who is living or has lived with the offender in a common law marital relationship, who otherwise is cohabiting with the offender, or who otherwise has cohabited with the offender within five years prior to the date of the alleged commission of the act in question.
(3) "Pregnant woman's unborn" has the same meaning as "such other person's unborn," as set forth in section 2903.09 of the Revised Code, as it relates to the pregnant woman. Division (C) of that section applies regarding the use of the term in this section, except that the second and third sentences of division (C)(1) of that section shall be construed for purposes of this section as if they included a reference to this section in the listing of Revised Code sections they contain.
(4) "Termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy" has the same meaning as "unlawful termination of another's pregnancy," as set forth in section 2903.09 of the Revised Code, as it relates to the pregnant woman. Division (C) of that section applies regarding the use of the term in this section, except that the second and third sentences of division (C)(1) of that section shall be construed for purposes of this section as if they included a reference to this section in the listing of Revised Code sections they contain.
In general, police officers are directed to make arrest for claims of domestic violence unless special circumstances exist. This is to protect the victims of domestic abuse.
Appropriate Discipline of a Child
To clarify a matter of misconception, it should be stated that appropriate discipline of a child is not domestic violence. However, excessive or unusual punishment may be considered abuse and would be handled as a very serious matter.
Domestic Violence Victims Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all income groups, all ages, and all religions. They can be male or female, and child or adult. They share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame.
Are You Abused? Does the person you love do any of the following:
Track all of your time
Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful
Discourage your relationships with family and friends
Prevent you from working or attending school
Criticize you for little things
Anger easily when drinking or using drugs
Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend
Humiliate you in front of others
Destroy personal property or sentimental items
Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children
Use or threaten to use a weapon against you
Threaten to hurt you or the children
Force you to have sex against your will
If you can say yes to any of these behaviors, it's time to get help.
Addressing the Problem
Don't Ignore the Issue
It is important to talk to someone. Part of the abuser's power comes from secrecy. Victims are often ashamed to let anyone know about intimate family problems or have been threatened not to discuss these problems.
Plan ahead and know what you will do if attacked again. If you leave decide on a place to go; set aside some money. Put important papers together - marriage licenses, birth certificates, check books. Put them in a place you can get to quickly. Learn to think independently and try to plan for the future and set goals for yourself.
What to Do If You Are Hurt
There are no easy answers, but there are things you can do to protect yourself such as the following actions:
Call the police. They have access to local sources of shelter or counseling if needed. In addition they are the only ones who can bring domestic violence charges to stop the cycle of violence. When domestic violence charges are made, there are protection orders issued to prevent further abuse.
Leave or have someone come stay with you. If you believe that you or your children are in danger or that the violence will escalate, leave immediately.
Get medical attention from your doctor or hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries.
If You've Hurt Someone in Your Family or Household
Accept the fact that your violent behavior will destroy your family. Be aware that you break the law when you physically hurt someone.
Take responsibility for your actions and get help.
Call the Upper Valley Mental Health Center or emergency help line and ask about counseling and support groups that may be able to help you.
The High Cost of Domestic Violence
Men and women who follow their parent's example and use violence to solve conflicts are teaching the same destructive behavior to their children. The behavior just widens the circle of abuse.
Jobs can be lost or careers derailed because of injuries, arrests, or harassment.
Violence typically escalates if no intervention takes place. Deaths do result from domestic violence situations.
The cycle of domestic violence can be broken with intervention and honest effort.
Rape is about power, control, and anger. Think about the unthinkable. Don't mask the facts about rape with myths and stereotypes. The truth is that rape is an act of violence. It is an attempt to control and degrade using sex as a weapon.
It Can Happen to Anyone
It can happen to children, students, wives, mothers, working women, grandmothers, rich or poor, male or female. Rapists can be anyone - classmates, coworkers, neighbors, strangers, ugly or attractive people, outgoing or shy persons.
Most often, rapists are known by their victims. Rapists will continue their crimes against the same or other victims until caught. In some cases, the crimes become more frequent or cruel as the rapist continues without intervention.
Use Your Head
Be alert. Walk with confidence and purpose. Know where you are going and what route you will take venturing to places you aren't familiar with.
Be aware of your surroundings. Keep your head up and take notice of who is around you and what is going on.
Don't let alcohol cloud your judgment. Be especially careful concerning alcohol if you aren't very familiar with the location or the people you are with.
Trust your instincts. If a place or person makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy - leave. Don't let anyone convince you to stay if your instincts are telling you otherwise.
Common Sense Indoors
Make sure all doors and windows have adequate locks and check them frequently to make sure they are being used. Install a peephole in front and rear doors. Keep entrances well lighted.
Never open your door to strangers. Offer to make emergency calls if necessary while the person waits outside. Check the ID of any sales or service person before letting them in. Don't be afraid to check with the company if there is any question.
Be wary of isolated spots - apartment laundry rooms, garages, parking lots, offices after business hours, or access tunnels. Walk with a friend or coworker at night.
Know your neighbors so you have someone to call or go to if you are afraid.
If you see something that doesn't look right on returning home, a window or door ajar, don't go in. Call the police and let them check first.
Common Sense Outdoors
Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Stay in well traveled, well-lighted areas.
Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement.
Be careful if anyone asks you for directions. If you answer, keep your distance from the car.
Have your key ready before you reach the door at your home, car, or office.
If you think you are being followed, change direction several times and head for open stores, restaurants, or other businesses. If possible, go to a fire or police station but do not go directly home.
Park in areas that will be well lighted and well traveled when you return if it will be after dark.
Always lock your car, when you get in and when you get out, even if it is sitting in your drive way.
Look inside your car, especially the back seat before getting in.
If your car breaks down use the emergency flashers. Lock the doors. Only get out to raise the hood if it can be done safely considering your location and traffic flow. If anyone stops to help, roll down the window slightly and ask them to call a tow service or the police.
Don't hitch hike, ever. Don't pick up hitch hikers, ever, no matter how sorry you might feel for them.
When the Unthinkable Happens
How should you handle a rape attempt? That depends on your physical and emotional state, the situation, and the rapist's personality. There are no absolute right or wrong answers, your survival is the goal.
Try to escape. Scream, be rude, continue making noise to discourage your attacker from following.
Talk, stall for time and assess your options.
If the rapist has a weapon, you may have no choice but to submit. Do whatever is necessary to survive.
If you decide to fight back, you must be quick, effective, and absolutely ruthless. Target the eyes or groin. Use all of your power in each movement. Your goal is to disable your attacker long enough to make your escape, not to fight to submission.
Report any rape, sexual assault, or attempt at such actions to the police immediately. The sooner you tell the greater the chance the rapist will be caught and successfully prosecuted.
Preserve all physical evidence. Don't shower, bathe, change clothes, or throw anything away until the police say it's okay.
Go to an emergency room or your own doctor for medical care immediately.
Don't go to the doctor or emergency room alone. Ask someone you trust to go with you if possible.
Get counseling to help deal with feelings of anger, helplessness, fear or shame. Appropriate counseling can help you get beyond these feelings. If you don't feel comfortable with the counselors you meet with first, don't give up. Ask for someone else.
Remember, rape is not your fault. Don't accept blame for being a victim.
If Someone You Know Has Been Raped
Believe her or him.
Don't blame the victim and never second guess their actions.
Offer support, patience, and compassion to help the rape victim work through the crisis. A good listener can be invaluable to them.
Steps to Take as a Woman
Don't let alcohol or other drugs decrease your ability to take care of yourself and make decisions.
Trust your instincts. If you are uncomfortable with a date, end it.
Check out a first date or blind date with friends. Meet and go to public places. Make sure, if necessary, you have money for a phone call or taxi.
Don't leave a social event with someone you just met or don't know well.
Don't accept beverages from someone you don't know well or don't trust. Always watch your drink and never leave it unattended.
Steps to Take as a Man
Accept a woman's decision when she says "no". Don't see it as a challenge but accept that she has rights and deserves respect.
Ask yourself how sexual stereotypes affect your attitudes and actions toward women.
Avoid clouding your judgment and understanding of what another person wants by using alcohol or drugs.
Realize that forcing a woman to have sex against her will is rape, a violent crime with serious consequences that could haunt you for many years to come.
Never be drawn into gang rape.
Seek counseling if you have violent feelings or aggression toward women.
What Are Date Rape Drugs?
Rohyponol works like a tranquilizer. It causes muscle weakness, fatigue, slurred speech, loss of motor coordination and judgment, and amnesia that lasts up to 24 hours. It looks like an aspirin pill, small, white, and round.
GHB also causes quick sedation. It's effects are drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, and can cause coma and death. It's most common form is a clear liquid although it can also be a grainy white powder.
Rohyponol and GHB are called the date rape drugs because when they are slipped into someone's drink, a sexual assault can take place without the victim being able to remember what happened.
If Date Rape Happens
Get help. Don't isolate yourself, don't feel guilty, and don't try to ignore it. It's is a crime and should be reported.
Get medical attention as soon as possible. Do not shower, wash, change clothes or dispose of anything until the police say it's okay. You could be destroying valuable evidence.
Get counseling to deal with emotional trauma. Victim witness advocates can assist you with counseling if you can't afford it.
If you think you have been assaulted while under the influence of rohyponol or GHB seek help immediately. Try not to urinate before providing urine samples and if possible, collect any glasses from which you drank.
Saftey for the Disabled
Safety for the Disabled
Disabled persons face many challenges. This could make them appear to be vulnerable to assailants assuming they cannot protect themselves.
Look Out for Yourself
Stay alert and tuned into your surroundings.
Send the message that you are calm, confident, and know where you are going.
Be realistic about your limitations. Avoid places or situations that put you at risk.
Know the neighborhood where you live and work. Know where police and fire stations are, the locations of public telephones, and pubic places and businesses that are open and accessible.
Avoid falling into routine, predictable patterns. Varying your daily activity may reduce your vulnerability to crime.
Put good locks on your doors. Deadbolt locks are best, but make sure you can easily reach and use the locks you install.
Install peepholes on front and back doors at your eye level. This is important if you use a wheel chair.
The most secure entry doors have no glass windows in them. A second best choice would be doors with glass only at the top and with small panes.
Know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you and themselves are a front line defense against crime.
If you have difficulty speaking, have a friend record a message (giving your name address and disability) to use in emergencies. Keep the tape in a recorder close to the phone.
Out & About
Go with a friend or group if possible.
Avoid shortcuts or routes you are unfamiliar with. Stay to well lighted, well traveled streets if you are in unfamiliar territory.
Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
Carry purses close to the body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket. If you use a wheel chair, keep your purse or wallet tucked snugly between you and the inside of the chair.
If you use a backpack, make sure it is securely closed at all times.
Always carry your medical information in case of an emergency. This should include your, name, address, contact person (friend or relative), your doctor, and any current medications. Remember this document will need to speak for you if you aren't able to.
Consider carrying a cell phone when you are not at home for any emergency or so that others may check on you.
Senior Citizen Safety
Senior Citizen Safety
There are groups who target senior citizens for their crimes. Most seniors are fearful of burglary and robbery or physical assaults, and they should be. These are terrifying crimes. However, the greatest threat of crimes against seniors comes from fraud and con games, and can be just as devastating.
Be Alert When Shopping or Out in the Community
Don't carry credit cards or large amounts of cash you won't need.
Go with family, friends, or a group if possible rather than being alone.
Carry purses close to the body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
Keep all car doors locked at all times. Be particularly alert in parking lots or garages for people just "hanging around". Park near an entrance or exit if possible, there is more traffic at those locations.
Use direct deposit for any checks you receive regularly if possible (e.g. social security, retirement payments).
Sit as close to the driver or exit as possible when riding the bus.
If someone or something makes you feel uneasy, trust your instincts and leave the area. If necessary, move to where there are large groups of people.
Keep Your Home Safe & Secure
Install good locks on doors and windows, then use them. Don't hide keys outside where they can be found. Instead, leave an extra set of keys with someone you trust, perhaps a neighbor, friend, or relative.
Ask for photo ID from service or delivery people before letting them in. If you have any reason to doubt, call the company to verify before letting them in.
Vendors in the city are required to obtain licenses and should be able to present them on request. Don't conduct business with anyone selling door to door who don't have one. This process is for your protection, and although it doesn't guarantee the quality of the company, it at least verifies who the person is and that a records check has been performed.
Be sure your street address number is large, clear of obstructions, and well lighted so that police and emergency personnel can find your home quickly.
Don't Get Conned
Don't fall for anything that sounds too good to be true - a free vacation, sweepstakes prizes, cures for medical ailments, and diseases, or high yield investment schemes.
Never give your credit card, phone card, social security number, or bank account number to anyone over the phone.
Don't let anyone rush you into signing anything - a policy, contract, or agreement. Read these documents over carefully and have someone you trust check it over.
Beware of anyone claiming to represent companies, consumer organizations, or government agencies that offer to recover lost money from fraudulent telemarketers for a fee. As a twist on this same theme, cons sometimes pretend to be officials trying to "catch" a thief with your assistance. Never go along with these schemes.
If you are suspicious, don't hesitate to call 911 and check with the police.
There is another vehicle stolen every 21 seconds in the United States. Stolen cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles cost victims time and money. They increase everyone's insurance premiums and are often used in the commission of other crimes.
Develop Good Habits
Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you're away from it.
Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even in your own driveway.
Never leave valuables in plain view, even if the car is locked. Put them in the trunk or at least out of sight.
If you must leave your key with a valet, attendant, or mechanic, leave only the ignition key. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm.
In high theft areas, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should be etched on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid. This makes it difficult for a thief to market your stolen car parts.
Install a mechanical theft device such as a club, color, or J bar.
Many vehicles today come with some type of security system from the factory. Normally there are upgraded systems available if you ask. The best choice are systems that shut off the fuel supply so that a car can't be started or driven.
Carjacking, or stealing a car by force, is really a form of robbery. Statistically, your chances of being a carjacking victim are very slim. You can reduce your risk of being victimized even further by following these few suggestions:
Approach your car with key in hand. Look inside, particularly at the back seat area before getting in.
When driving keep your doors locked and windows rolled up.
Be especially alert at intersections, gas stations, ATMs, shopping malls, convenience, and grocery stores. These all provide better opportunity for the criminal.
Never trap yourself by following or stopping too closely to the car in front of you. This limits your ability to drive away in an emergency. The same goes for parking in areas that are difficult to maneuver in with your vehicle.
Park in well-lighted areas with good visibility, close to walkways, stores, and people.
If the carjacker has a weapon, give up the car without question. It isn't worth your life.
Small Business Crime Prevention
Small Business Crime Prevention
Crime costs businesses billions of dollars each year. Crime can be particularly devastating to small businesses who lose both customers and employees when crime and fear claim a neighborhood. When small businesses are victims of crime, they often react by changing their hours of operation, raising their prices to cover their loses, relocating outside of the community, or simply closing. Fear of crime isolates businesses and this isolation increases vulnerability to crime.
Helping small businesses reduce and prevent crime must be a community effort. Law enforcement can work with owners to improve security and design their spaces to reduce risk. Small businesses can join together in efforts to alert each other to crime patterns and suspicious activities.
Begin with the Basics
Take the time to make an overall evaluation of your building, facilities, employees, and practices. No one knows your business better than you do. Take the time to ask yourself where you might be vulnerable in any of these areas and take some corrective steps. Consider some of these basic principles:
Provide training for all employees, including cleaning staff, so they are familiar with security procedures and know your expectations. Document this training and make sure everyone receives exactly the same instructions. This makes it much easier to identify problems later on if employees are deviating from your plan.
Use good locks, safes, and alarm systems.
Keep detailed, up-to-date records. Never store all records on the premises; always have a back up. This information is invaluable in assessing loss and for investigative purposes later.
Establish and enforce clear policies such as the following, and again, consider documenting this in writing with the employee so that action may be taken later on if your wishes aren't being respected:
Employee substance abuse
Opening and closing of the business
Any other security procedures
Mark all of your equipment with a unique identifying mark or number. Although some equipment, such as cash registers, computers, or typewriters have their own serial number, don't rely on these. Those numbers can be easily removed.
Keep a record of all equipment with serial numbers and ID marks off premises.
Consider the costs of security improvements against the potential savings through loss reduction. You might be surprised how affordable some equipment can be. Video surveillance for instance can be very reasonable and works well to prevent employee theft, vandalism, and frivolous claims and lawsuits against the business. It also provides excellent information to law enforcement if the situation requires their involvement.
Burglary & Robbery
Make sure all outside entrances and inside security doors have deadbolt locks. If you use padlocks instead, make sure they are made of steel. Record the serial numbers of the locks but deface the number on the lock so that unauthorized keys can't be made.
All outside or security doors should be metal lined and secured with metal security crossbars. Pin all exposed hinges to prevent removal.
Windows should have secure locks and burglar resistant glass. Additional security can be gained by inserting pins through the window and frame. Consider adding metal security grates on windows that are not in display or in customer areas, or that are in remote areas of the building.
Light the inside and outside of your business, especially around doors, windows, or other entry points. Make sure exterior lighting is high enough to be out of reach or add covers to make tampering more difficult. Inside lighting helps police see anything unusual during routine patrols.
Check parking areas for adequate lighting and unobstructed views. One area often overlooked is the back of the business. Make sure the back door and loading / dock areas are well lighted.
Be sure your safe is fireproof and well anchored. Leave the safe open when it's empty. Remember to change the combination when an employee who has had access to the safe leaves your employment.
Never leave the combination written down anywhere in the business.
Before you invest in an alarm, check with several companies and decide what level of security you really need. Ask for references of other businesses in your area using the security company to see how they are really performing.
Robbery doesn't occur as often as other crimes but the potential of loss can be much higher. Robbery involves force or the threat of force and can result in injuries or death. For this reason every effort should be made to avoid becoming an easy target for robbers.
Greet every person who enters the business in a friendly manner. Personal contact can discourage a would-be criminal.
Keep windows clear of displays or signs that might block the view from anyone outside of the business.
Check the interior of your business to eliminate any blind spots that might conceal a robber in progress.
Be selective about who knows the details of your security system. Not every employees needs to have this information. Generally, the fewer the better.
Tell employees to immediately report any suspicious activity or person. They should immediately write down any information concerning a description to include gender, approximate height, weight, hairstyle, clothing, and unusual identifiers like scars, tattoos, beards, or glasses. If a vehicle description or license number can be obtained without putting the employee at risk this is also especially helpful.
Quite often a robber will go into the business prior to the robbery to assess the opportunity of success and can seem suspicious or unusual while doing so. The information gathered by employees can be vital for follow up to law enforcement.
Place your cash registers and check out close to the front of the store. This increases the chances of someone spotting a robbery in progress.
Keep small amounts of cash in the registers to reduce losses. Use a drop safe the employees cannot make a retrieval from and post signs alerting would-be robbers of this procedure.
Make bank deposits often during business hours but don't establish a set pattern. Ask for a police escort when making a deposit. This is a no-cost service and greatly preferred over the alternative.
Video surveillance is a deterrent to many would-be robbers and is the best eyewitness. Consider the costs of such systems against your potential for loss.
If you or an employee are confronted by a robber - cooperate. Merchandise and cash can be replaced - people can't.
Employee Theft, Shoplifting & Vandalism
Employee Theft Prevention
Establish a written policy that outlines employee responsibilities, standards of honesty, and general security procedures and consequences for not following them. Make sure employees read it, understand it, and sign it as a condition of employment. Then enforce it stringently.
Verify past employment and references of all prospective employees. Be suspicious of any unexplained gaps in their work history.
Keep accurate records of cash flow, inventory, equipment, and supplies. Have them checked regularly by someone other than the person responsible for maintaining them.
Limit access to keys, safe combinations, computer codes, and alarm codes. Change locks and access codes whenever an employee is terminated.
Limit the number of persons responsible for a specific cash function. Never have more than one person on each cash register. Make only one person responsible for cash drops or deposits if possible.
If internal theft is discovered, take action quickly. Contact the law enforcement agency and follow through. It is important that employees understand that theft will not be tolerated.
Keep the store neat and orderly.
Use mirrors to eliminate blind spots in corners or behind displays.
Merchandise should be kept away from store exits to prevent grab and run situations.
Keep the displays full so that employees can see at a glance if something is missing. Expensive merchandise should be locked in cases with a limit on the number of items removed at any one time.
Design the store layout so that customers must pass the cash register and store employees to exit. Never leave the register unlocked or unattended.
Dressing rooms and restrooms should be monitored at all times. Limit the number of items to be taken into a dressing room and make it clear that no merchandise can be taken into the restroom.
Report all acts of vandalism to the police. Because many vandals are juveniles, you may not be the only victim. Documentation is important when connecting cases that may be attributed to the same individual. It will be especially important in sentencing and restitution if the individual is caught.
Clean up vandalism as soon as possible after reporting it. Replace signs, repair equipment, and paint over graffiti. The message given if the property is left in disrepair is that the owner doesn't care and it invites further damage.
Depending on your situation, proper lighting, building materials (such as hard to mark surfaces), fences, or landscape materials (such as thorny or prickly hedges) may help in discouraging vandals.
Credit Card Fraud
Make sure employees know each credit company's authorization procedures.
Be wary of a customer with only one credit card and one piece of identification, even more so if they have no identification.
Watch out for a customer who makes repeated small purchases that are under the amount normally requiring managers approval.
If you are suspicious of the purchaser make a note of the appearance, companions, any vehicles, and the identification presented. Call the police department.
Look for alterations on the credit cards. This is usually done by either filing or melting one or more of the numbers and re-stamping them. Both processes can leave faint imprints of the original numbers.
Examine the signature strip of the credit card. Criminals sometimes cover the real owners signature with "white-out" and sign over it. This is not difficult to spot.
Compare the signature on the card with the signature on the receipt. They should be reasonably similar even to the untrained eye.
Check Fraud Many fraudulent checks are not difficult to spot if the employee is paying attention. Knowing this the criminal may try to rush the employee through the transaction or feign anger to throw the employee off. Never let a customer control the transaction. When taking a check insist on proper photo ID and make sure the addresses of the check and ID match. Write down the address on the photo ID even if the customer insists that another address they give you is more current. Be suspicious of any checks showing the following telltales:
Checks numbered under 500 (New account).
Glossy rather than dull finish of the magnetic ink on the bottom of the check
No perforation on the check edges.
Out-of-area banks or payroll checks on unknown businesses
Signature that doesn't match the spelling of the imprinted name on the check or the ID provided
Spots or alterations of the check's color or background
Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for children, but sometimes the most hectic for parents and guardians. The Halloween, take a moment to consider basic safety precautions that will make your children’s Halloween a safer night of fun.
Choose bright, flame retardant costumes (Hint – Add reflective tape to costumes and candy bags!)
Plan a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets
Make sure children know their home phone number and address in case you get separated
Teach them how to call 911 in an emergency
Teach children to say “No!” in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them
Never send younger children out alone – they should be with a parent or guardian, or another trusted adult
Always walk younger children to the door to receive treats
Don’t let children enter a home unless you are with them
Be sure children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them
Discuss basic pedestrian safety rules when walking to and from houses
Looking for a fun Halloween project for your children? Sign them up for Club UYN where they’ll find exclusive activities for club members.
This page was adapted from Halloween Safety Tips from NetSmartz.org, a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Forgery, Fraud and Identity Theft
Fraud, Forgery and Identity Theft affects crime victims in a multitude of ways that can be distressing and overwhelming to resolve. When residents become victim to a crime of this nature, it can affect finances, relationships with creditors and banks as well as the possibility of legal issues that come with having your information used in a negative way. Not only are these types of crime inconvienant for the victims they can be a burden and hassle to navigate through to get resolution. If you are concerned you may have fallen victim to Fraud, Forgery or Identity theft the first step in this process is to gather as much information as you can from your banks, financial institutions or credit bureau and make a police report with your local agency right away. Time can be a factor not only in the intitial investigation, but getting the process started to reinstate any money lost in the process. Banks usually require a report on file before they will pursue reversing transactions and taking the steps to protect you from future loss. Below are a list of links that may also assist with gaining additional information regarding these crimes, what you need to do to avoid becoming a victim, as well as steps to take if your information or accounts have already been compromised.