The Wareham Police Department would like to take this opportunity to offer some helpful safety tips to community members. Keep these tips in mind in an effort to protect you and your loved ones from becoming a victim of a crime of opportunity.
Remember you can help make your neighborhood safer. If you know anything about a crime that has happened, or a crime that could happen, call our Anonymous Tip Line at 508-291-2300. The Wareham Police Department is interested only in your information, not your identity. Your tip is 100% anonymous.
TIPS FOR ENSURING PERSONAL SAFETY
- Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
- When parking, walking or returning to your car, travel in well-lit and populated areas.
- Wear sneakers or shoes that allow for added mobility.
- Be watchful and aware. Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you and be observant of passing vehicles. Don’t become distracted by talking on a cell phone or listening to an iPod/similar device.
- Avoid walking alone late at night. Walk with friends and people you know.
- Keep a whistle within reach. If threatened, use the whistle to signal residents for help. Yelling “Fire!” “Help!” or “Rape!” are ways of drawing attention and alerting people of your situation.
- Hold your car keys in your hand to use as a weapon against an attacker.
- Carry a cell phone and call ahead to your destination to alert them that you’re on the way. Make sure you’re expected at a certain time, so in the event you fail to show up, those expecting you will know enough to begin looking for you.
- Walk with confidence. Don’t let anyone violate your space. Trust your instincts. Anyone at anytime can be a victim of crime so never assume, “IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.”
- If an unarmed attacker confronts you, believe in your ability to defend, distract, or even incapacitate the attacker enough to escape.
- If you think that someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk towards an open store, restaurant or residence.
TIPS TO PREVENT MOTOR VEHICLE BREAK-INS
- DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR CAR WHERE OTHERS CAN SEE THEM. Valuable items, such as your laptop, iPod, etc. should never be left in the front or back seat of your vehicle. Always take your valuables with you, or move them into the trunk.
- Lock your doors and windows. Even if your window is only slightly open, it makes your car an easier target for thieves. A thief will insert a wire into a slightly open window to pop up the door lock.
- Replace your standard door lock buttons with tapered ones. Tapered door lock buttons make it more difficult for a thief to hook a wire or device onto the door lock button to pop it open.
- Invest in an anti-theft device. When you buy a new or used car, checking to see if it has an anti-theft device is as important as checking the engine. If there isn’t one, you should have one installed.
- If you observe any unusual activity or observe a car theft or a break-in, call 911.
COMMERCIAL ROBBERY PREVENTION SAFETY TIPS
To prevent a robbery :
- Keep your front doors and windows clear of signs and posters to allow good two-way visibility. Employees can see suspicious persons inside. Passers-by can see inside.
- Keep the outside of your business well lit at night.
- Use video surveillance and make it well known. Use cameras or mirrors to observe all areas of the store.
- Greet everyone who enters your business. Be alert for customers who seem to be loitering or glancing around the store while appearing to shop or browse through a magazine.
- If you someone who is acting suspicious inside or outside, call the police to have them checked out.
- Keep side and back doors locked. Have employees use the main entrance, if possible.
- Place markers at the entrance that employees can use to help gauge the height of a robber as he leaves.
- Make bank deposits as often as possible, never less than once a day.
During a robbery:
- Try to stay calm.
- Do not make any sudden movements to upset the robber.
- Do not resist.
- If possible, try to get a good look at the robber so that you can describe him later.
- Note the direction of flight.
- Without exposing yourself to harm, get a description of the robber’s vehicle.
After the robbery:
- Call the police immediately after the robbery, even if you have already activated the alarm.
- Step outside the store when the police arrive so they will know the robber is gone and you are safe.
- Do not touch anything that the robber may have touched (for fingerprints).
- Ask any witnesses to stay or get their names and telephone numbers (to be reached by the police).
- Do not discuss the amount of money taken with anyone other than the police.Surveillance equipment information
- Replace VHS videotapes every 12 sessions.
- Use a different tape for each day of the month.
- Clean the lenses of the video cameras with camera lens paper.
- Insure the correct date & time on your video camera.
SECURITY TIPS FOR THE HOME
- Use sturdy doors.
- Solid wooden doors or doors reinforced with steel offer much more protection than hollow core wooden doors.
- Use safe locks. Adding quality deadbolt locks is a great idea because they can’t be ‘popped’ the way spring-latch locks can.
- Don ‘t buzz people into the building without knowing who they are.•Thieves use many disguises and some- pose as someone that they are not.•Strangers should be questioned as to their business in a building.
- This can be done in a polite way and is essential.
- Lock your windows.
- When you are not at home, always lock your first floor windows.
- In a single family home or a multi-dwelling building, the outer hallway door should be locked. If a thief has access to the inner hallway, he now has a cover from the public’s eye and extra time to break through the front door without being noticed.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbor. Consider having a neighbor or friend watch your home when you’re on vacation.
BICYCLE THEFT PREVENTION
- Get a U Lock for your bike. The overwhelming majorities of stolen bikes are locked with a cable or chain, or weren’t locked at all. The least expensive U-lock is better than the best chain.
- A bike being unlocked is a bigger factor in whether it gets stolen than how expensive the bike is.
- Most bikes that are stolen have been left unlocked “just for a minute”
- Lock the front wheel to the frame, if you can lock it to something.•Don’t use parking meters or sign polls because the bikes can easily be lifted over and taken away in seconds.•Avoid parking bike overnight in public if you can avoid it.
- Take a picture of your bike to help identify it if is stolen.
- Write down your bike serial number and etch your driver’s license number 2 places on your bike. Using the drivers license number will greatly assist police in recovery of stolen bikes.
- Stolen bicycles unlike motor vehicles are extremely difficult for police to recover. Check with the BPD warehouse and ask to look at confiscated bikes.
- Most bicycle recoveries have been initiated by the victim because they have spotted it being used in the neighborhood, advertised on-line or being sold at a second hand bike shop.
SHOPPING & POCKETBOOK SAFETY TIPS
- Wherever you are, stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
- Communicate that you are calm, confident and know where you are going.
- Stand tall, walk purposefully and make quick eye contact with people around you.
- Park in well-lighted areas and busy streets. Avoid dark doorways, alleys and areas hidden by trees and shrubbery.
- Have your keys in hand prior to exiting the store.
- Don’t overload yourself with packages and don’t wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements.
- Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or other tempting targets such as jewelry and expensive clothes.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the strap, and keep a firm grasp on it. Carry a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket. *** See below for pocketbook safety.
- If you think someone is following you, walk toward an open store or restaurant and call the police.
- Remember that criminals look for the easiest opportunities. BE ALERT, CAUTIOUS AND CONFIDENT!
***Pocketbook and Purse Safety:
- Keep a good hold on your pocketbook and if possible, cross the strap across your chest (and not freely hanging at your side when walking).
- When walking always keep physical contact with the pocketbook (Ex. Resting your hand or arm on the side of it). This will help with pickpockets.
- Make sure your pocketbook is completely fastened at all times. If possible carry your wallet, cash, credit cards, and small high value items in a front pocket of your clothes.
- If you place your pocketbook in a shopping cart, run the strap through the metal bar to secure it, (So someone cannot walk off with it. Also make sure the pocketbook is completely fastened shut). Also keep your wallet and money in your hand or front pocket of clothing.
- When using the restroom, do not place your pocketbook on the floor (Do to the open space at the bottom of stalls, a suspect can just reach in and grab it).
- When seated at a table or counter-top, do not hang your pocketbook/bag on your seat-back. The safest place is either on your lap or at your feet (not to the side where belongings can be removed without your knowledge)
- If you leave your purse in your car while you shop, secure it in the trunk, or out of sight, where it will not be visible to people walking past.
How To Avoid Having Your Purse Stolen:
- The theft of purses is almost always a crime of opportunity. Your chances of this happening to you can be greatly reduced with the careful consideration of the following prevention tips:
- When in a restaurant, if you choose to your purse under your chair then put the leg of your chair through your purse strap, your purse will then be a considerably less accessible target
- Do not put your purse down on the ground and/or leave it unattended
- If you must carry a purse, carry only the items that you need and never large amounts of cash
- Always be cognizant of your surroundings and walk with confidence and purpose
- Walk in well lit areas and avoid walking close to areas which would allow a thief to hide in an entrance way or behind a parked car
- Carry your purse close to your person, preferably in front, don’t wrap your purse strap too tightly around your wrist or shoulder, you’re likely to get hurt if a thief were to grab it forcefully
- If a thief approaches you, remember that it is best to just let it go. It is not worth being injured by resisting.
What To Do Immediately When Your Personal Information Has Been Stolen:
- Notify the Credit Bureau right away : Equifax, Transunion, Experian
- Alert the Credit Bureau that your personal information has been stolen
- Contact your bank and cancel not only checkbook, but your bank account
- Notify your credit card companies to cancel your card
Important Contact Information for Identity Theft Victims
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289 / Experian 1-888-397-3742 / Equifax 1-800-525-6285
To report fraudulent use of your checks
- Checkrite 1-800-766-2748
- Chexsystems 1-800-428-9623
- Crosscheck 1-800-843-0760
- Equifax 1-800-437-5120
- International Check Services 1-800-631-9656
- Scan 1-800-262-7771
- Telecheck 1-800-710-9898
Identity Theft Safety Tips
- Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation, and students may be particularly vulnerable to this crime.
- The first step to prevent identity theft is awareness of how and when you use your personal information. By keeping close tabs on your personal information, you can reduce your chances of becoming an identity theft victim. Memorize your Social Security number and passwords. Don’t record your password on papers you carry with you.
- Do not use your date of birth as your password.
- Shred pre-approved credit applications and other financial documents before discarding them.
- Order credit reports every year from each of the major credit reporting agencies and thoroughly review them for accuracy
- Never give personal or financial information over the phone or Internet unless you initiated the contact
- Do not carry your Social Security card or birth certificate with you
- Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately
- Check your monthly credit card and bank statements for unusual activity