Personal Safety and Crime Prevention

Most crimes, whether burglary or rape, are crimes of opportunity. Criminals look for the easiest targets and the least chance of getting caught. Your job, whether protecting yourself or your property, is to make the crime more difficult and risky for the perpetrator. Be vigilant, consistent and aware even for short trips.

  • Always stop and think about the risk.
  • Do not wear clothes, backpacks or hairstyles that make you easy to grab.
  • Do not dig in your bag, read or dial your phone while walking. Hold your head up, walk with purpose and scan near and far with your eyes.
  • Always identify a visitor before opening the door.
  • Never accept a drink from a stranger or pick up a drink that has been out of your sight.
  • Never allow young children to open the door to visitors.
  • Always ask representatives to provide identification.
  • Avoid walking alone at night.
  • Don’t leave backpacks or purses unattended anywhere.
  • Don’t sleep near an open window during the night.
  • Don’t wear expensive jewelry or flash cash.
  • Don’t visit cash machines alone or at night.
  • When leaving your car with someone (mechanic, valet, friend) do not leave the key to your home on the ring.
  • Take a self defense course.
  • Never let anyone take you to a secondary location. Even if they have a knife or gun to your head, fight for your life.

While Walking

  • Emergency call boxes have been located in peripheral parts of campus. These phones should be used to report suspicious activity or crimes.
  • Plan the safest route to your destination and use it. Choose well-lit, busy pathways and streets, avoiding alleys, vacant lots or construction sites. Take a longer way if it is safest.
  • Know your neighborhood and the campus. Find out which buildings are open late (or early) and where to go to summon help if needed.
  • Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it. Carry a wallet in an inside coat or trouser pocket, not in the rear trouser pocket.
  • Have your car or house key in hand and ready as you approach your vehicle or home.
  • Never hitchhike.

In the Car

  • Keep your car in good running condition to avoid a breakdown.
  • Plan your route in advance, particularly on long or unfamiliar trips. Have enough gas and money to get there and back.
  • Drive with all car doors locked. Keep windows rolled up whenever possible.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.

Jogging, Biking and Other Outdoor Activities

  • Vary your jogging route and schedule.
  • Avoid jogging and biking at night.
  • Consider not wearing headphones.
  • Wear bright, reflective clothing.
  • Carry some form of identification.

In Residence Halls

  • Lock the door to your room when you are sleeping or when you are out. Know who is at the door before you open it.
  • Take care of your keys! Don’t give anyone the chance to duplicate them. Don’t leave a key over the door or nearby your room.
  • Don’t leave valuables, like your wallet, checkbook or jewelry, in open view.
  • Hang up immediately with any obscene or harrassing phone calls; report them to University Police immediatly.
  • Look out for your fellow students. Report any and all suspicious activity to University Police immediatly.

Bike Security

  • Get a good bike lock. Don’t waste your money on a cheap padlock and cable.
  • Lock your bike to a fixed object. Don’t leave it unlocked even for a moment.

Three Basic Rules

  • Do stay alert. Keep your mind on your surroundings, who’s in front of you and who’s behind you. Don’t get distracted. If you’re worried about crime, ask a friend to accompany you when you go out.
  • Do communicate the message that you’re calm, confident and know where you’re going. Stand tall, walk purposefully and make eye contact with people around you.
  • Do trust your instincts! If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave.