Situational awareness and common sense is our best way to avoid becoming a victim of
a crime. Almost all victims of a reported crime which could have been prevented say this " I
never though it could have happended to me". Be aware of what is going on around you at all
Avoid texting while walking, as this will have you focused on your phone, rather than
the surrounding elements. When talking on your phone, criminals realize that you are distracted,
and you can become an easy target for them.
Before entering buildings, take note of others lurking or loitering nearby.
When walking around corners, consider taking a wide turn into the corner if at all
If your instincts tell you that something may be out of place, or just not
right, avoid going there at the moment. Circle around if safe, and enter a few minutes later, when
it looks and feels better, or avoid going in until much later.
Safety in and around your vehicle
When in your car, always keep the doors locked. Any time you drive through areas
containing stoplights, stop signs, or anything that significantly reduces vehicular speed, keep
your windows up. In what may appear to be a safe neighborhood or other area, there may be a
lurker where you do not see them, waiting to prey on the individual that lets his/her guard
While in traffic (particularly slowing or stopping), leave plenty
of maneuvering space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. If you are approached
by suspicious persons while you are stopped, do not roll down windows; drive away quickly if
If you are being followed or harassed by another driver, try to find the nearest
police station, fire department, hotel, or other public facility which has adequate lighting and
may be staffed by an attendant 24 hours a day. Once you find a place of safety, don't worry about
using a legal parking space. Park as close as you can to the entrance, and get inside fast. If the
situation requires you getting immediate attention of others, before you get out of your vehicle,
lay on your horn to get the attention of others. This audible situation may quickly gather
many within the immediate to turn their attention to you and your matter.
If another driver tries to force you to pull over or to cut you off, keep driving and
try to get away if you can safely do so. Try to note the license plate number of the car and a
description of the car and driver. If this effort places you in danger, don't do it. The
information is not as important as your safety. If you can, dial 9-1-1 as soon as you notice
something is not right, so that the emergency dispatcher can alert the local law enforcement, and
get them started your way immediately.
If you are being followed, never lead the person back to your home or stop and get
out. Drive to the nearest police station, fire station or other public facility with good lighting
and common staffing at these particular hours. (You could verify surveillance by going
completely around an arbitrarily chosen block.) Always report these incidents to your local
enforcement agency. If you can safely do so, provide vehicle license plate and vehicle
description, with a description of the driver. Be sure not to jeapordize your safety while
attempting to collect this information.
If you are traveling alone and a car "bumps" into you, don't stop to exchange
accident information, unless you are in a public area where many others can see what is going on.
Otherwise, turn on your emergency flashers/hazard lights and drive to the nearest service
station or other public place to call the police if you do not have a cellular phone/coverage.
Never, ever pick up hitchhikers! The innocent hitchhiker may not be so innocent
at all, and you may become easy prey.
When you park, look for a spot that offers good lighting and is close to a location
where there are a lot of people. Lock valuables in the trunk (and if possible, do this before
arriving at your location, to avoid getting the attention of others watching for persons to place
valuables in a trunk, and lock all the doors. Do not leave pets in vehicles on hot days.
Extra precautions are necessary when shopping. If you take packages out to lock them
in your trunk, then plan to return to the stores to do more shopping, it may be a good idea to
move your car to another section of the parking lot or street. The criminal knows that you will be
coming back and can wait to ambush you. By moving your car, you give the impression you're
leaving. If you think you are being followed, do not go back to your car. Return to the safety of
the occupied shopping area or office building and contact the authorities.
If you have car trouble on the road, raise your hood. If you have a radio antenna,
place a handkerchief or other flag there. When people stop to help, don't get out of the car unless you know them or it's the
police. Ask the "good samaritan" to stop at the nearest service station and report your
If you are in a parking lot or parked on the street and have trouble, be wary of
personal assistance from strangers. Call a repair service or friend for assistance. If you
feel threatened by the presence of nearby strangers, lock yourself in your car and blow the horn
to attract attention of others.
Avoid leaving your vehicle running to warm it up, while it is unoccupied.
If you park your vehicle outside of your garage (such as in your driveway or on the
street in front of your driveway or parking lot), be aware that a garage door opener or keys to your
residence inside of this vehicle will be an ideal way for a criminal to easily gain access to your
garage/residence. Take the garage door remote indoors with you while your vehicle is parked out
By using these basic safety tips and your own common sense, you can help
The purpose of surveillance is to identify a potential target based on the security
precautions that individual takes, and the most suitable time, location, and method of attack.
Surveillance may last for days or weeks. Naturally, the surveillance of a person who has set routines and
who takes few precautions will take less time.
Detecting surveillance requires a fairly constant state of alertness and, therefore, must
become a habit. A good sense of what is normal and what is unusual in your surroundings could be more
important than any other type of security precaution you may take. Above all, do not hesitate to report
any unusual event.
There are three forms of surveillance: foot, vehicular, and stationary. People who have
well-established routines permit surveillants to use methods that are much more difficult to
If, for example, you leave the office at the same time each day and travel by the most direct
route to your home or if you live in a remote area with few or no alternate routes to your home,
surveillants have no need to follow you all the way to your residence.
Vary your routes and times of travel.
Be familiar with your route and have alternate routes.
Check regularly for surveillance.
Stationary surveillance is most commonly used by terrorist organizations. Most attacks take
place near the victim's residence, because that part of the route is least easily varied. People are
generally most vulnerable in the morning when departing for work because these times are more predictable
than evening arrivals.
Many surveillance teams use vans with windows in the sides or back that permit observation from
the interior of the van. Often the van will have the name of a business or utility company to provide some
pretext for being in the area.
Where it is not possible to watch the residence unobserved, surveillants must come up with a
plausible reason for being in the area. Women and children are often used to give an appearance of innocence.
Try to check the street in front of your home from a window before you go out each day.
If you suspect that you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station, fire station,
or the U.S. mission. Note the license numbers, color and make of the vehicle, and any information printed on
its sides that may be useful in tracing the vehicle or its occupants.
Don't wait to verify surveillance before you report it.
Be alert to people disguised as public utility crews, road workers, vendors, etc., who might
station themselves near your home or office.
Whenever possible, leave your car in a secured parking area. Be especially alert in underground
Always check your vehicle inside and out before entering it. If you notice anything unusual, do
not enter the vehicle.
Household staff and family members should be reminded to look for suspicious activities around
your residence; for example, surveillance, attempts to gain access to your residence by fraudulent means, and
telephone calls or other inquiries requesting personal information.
Tell your household staff and family members to note descriptions and license numbers of
suspicious vehicles. Advise them to be alert for details. Household staff can be one of the most effective
defensive mechanisms in your home--use them to your advantage.
While there are no guarantees that these precautions, even if diligently adhered to, will
protect you from terrorist violence, they can reduce your vulnerability and, therefore, your chances of
becoming a victim.
Sexual Assault Prevention
Be alert. Don't assume that you are always safe. Think about your safety everywhere.
Your best protection is avoiding dangerous situations.
Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, leave.
Always walk, drive, and park your car in well-lit areas.
Walk confidently at a steady pace on the side of the street facing traffic.
Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys.
Wear clothes and shoes that allow freedom of movement.
Walk to your car with keys in your hand.
If you have car trouble, raise the hood and stay inside your car. If a stranger wants
to help, have him or her call for help. Don't leave your car.
Keep your car doors locked and never pick up hitchhikers.
Make sure all windows and doors in your home are locked, especially if you are home
Never give the impression that you are home alone if strangers telephone or come to
If a stranger asks to use your phone, have him wait outside while you make the
If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, don't go
in. Go to the nearest phone and call Post 1 or the local law enforcement authorities.