The Plymouth 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 main number at 508-830-4218.
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.
• 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.
• 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..
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. 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 a bike overnight in public if you can avoid it.
• Take a picture of your bike to help identify it if is stolen.
• 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.
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
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