The Holiday season is a beautiful time in the year where bold reds and dark greens spin in sparkling twirls of lights. The warm smells of vanilla and chocolate rise through the air of the crisp urban city. Bells and chimes lifts our spirits and brews heart-felt goodwill.
We travel through the streets of our city to work, dine, shop, and give this holiday season. At times we may forget the urban reality we live in. We live in a sprawling city with an intense growing population. The city is growing so fast high rises are not only for business.
We can pretend that we will never become victims of a crime, but the reality is where there are humans there will be crime. There is a difference between a property crime and a crime against a person. Nevertheless, the effects are some of the same for both: fear, worry, paranoia, and pain.
Here are a few tips for you this holiday season.
1. Stay Alert. No matter what area you live in. Crime occurs in all areas. Put your phone down, lower down your radio, and look around before you exit your vehicle. In case someone approaches you quickly you must be able to close your door and lock yourself in or drive away. Again, look around before you exit your vehicle.
2. When shopping alone don’t carry your purse. Carry essentials only. Credit card or cash. This means you might have to think about your wardrobe before you go shopping. Wear something comfortable with multiple pockets. Don’t leave your purse in the car. Place it in the trunk, however be aware of who is watching. This is why you might not want to take your purse at all.
3. Leave the kids at home. Plan your shopping day when you will be able to shop without children. If this isn’t a possibility find another adult that will shop with you. Safety is definitely in numbers.
4. Day and night might not discourage crime during the holiday season. However, night time is perfect for crime for obvious reasons.
5. Make several shopping trips. Holiday shopping is physically and emotionally tiring. When you are less tired you are more alert.
6. Always make sure you know where you are in case you do have to call 911. Practice going to a location and ask yourself what intersections are close by, main streets, and major shopping centers. Memory is the first thing to go when you are scared or involved in a traumatic situation.
7. Don’t carry cash. If you have to carry cash make sure you don’t display it out in public. Same thing goes for jewelry.
8. Lock your doors when pumping gas. A car can easily park next to you and take your purse while you are pumping gas.
9. Do not use public restrooms for you or your children if you don’t have to. Always have a potty break prior to shopping. If you do have to use a public restroom make sure it is well lit, with moderate traffic, and located close to a common public area.
10. Check your credit and debit transactions daily. Credit card fraud is always high, but holidays bring about more opportunity.
Happy Holidays! Stay Safe!