CRIME PREVENTION TIPS
Crime prevention means being aware of your environment and remaining alert to situations that could make you vulnerable to crime. We cannot list specific measures that will protect you from every possible threatening situation.
Instead, we hope to teach you how to think "Crime Prevention" in day to day life. The suggestions presented should not be thought of as a list of crime prevention measures but as examples of common sense behavior that could help you stay as safe and secure as possible.
• If at all possible, never walk alone.
• If you cannot find someone to walk with you, contact Security at 301-784-5555 for an escort.
• If you absolutely have to walk alone, walk on well-lit, well-traveled walkways and plan your route ahead of time. Avoid places where attackers might hide (spaces between parked cars, overgrown shrubs, and dark passageways) and areas where you might get cornered. Remember that it is always best to walk facing traffic.
• If anyone follows you, look confident, and let him or her know you are aware of their presence. Don't be polite or engage in conversation.
• If they continue to follow you, cross the street and/or change directions.
• If this doesn't work, walk towards other people or occupied buildings, and stay away from places where you could get cornered.
• If someone in a car follows you and is persistent or becomes obscene, write down the license plate number, and report it to the Security Department/Police as soon as possible.
• Ask for assistance from the Security Department if you are frightened or concerned.
• If someone follows you and is persistent or becomes obscene, write down the license plate number, and report it to the appropriate police agency or Security Department as soon as possible.
• Always try to park in a well-lit parking lot.
• If you are trapped in your car, honk your horn in quick short bursts. This will attract people's attention.
• Make sure that all car doors are locked whenever you leave your vehicle.
• When returning to your car, have your keys ready so you can enter your car quickly, and be aware of your surroundings. If you have to look into a purse or a pocket to find them, it takes extra time and you lose sight of what is around you which could allow someone to sneak up on you.
• As you approach your car, look underneath to make sure no one is hiding there. Before you enter your car, look to see if all of the doors are locked or if there are any uninvited passengers in the back seat or on the floor. If your door locks are not the way you left them or you see someone inside, leave the area as quickly as possible and notify the Security Department/Police.
• Don't pick up hitchhikers.
• Use well-lit, busy stops.
• Stay alert; don't doze or daydream.
• If possible, sit near the driver.
• If someone harasses you, don't be embarrassed. Loudly say, "Leave me alone!" If that doesn't work, hit the emergency device.
• Watch who gets off the bus at the same stop as you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place where there are other people.
• Let someone know where you will be working and when you anticipate returning home. Make sure your family and friends know the work number where you can be reached. Call when you reach your workstation and once again just before leaving to go home.
• A mobile phone is highly recommended. They are effective in emergency situations to get instant access to emergency services.
• Carry a portable, battery-powered high decibel alarm device or a loud whistle.
• Carry a small pocket flashlight in your purse or on a key ring, and try to park in well-lit areas and walk along lit walkways.
• Carry your keys in your hand when you are approaching the appropriate doors, keeping them readily available. Make sure locked doors close and lock behind you.
• Keep your workstation or office locked after hours.
• When returning to your vehicle, watch for suspicious people nearby and have your keys in your hand. Check the interior of your vehicle before getting in.
PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY
PREVENTING THEFTS FROM VEHICLES:
• Install a vehicle alarm or mechanical lock for the steering wheel or ignition.
• Always lock the doors and leave the windows rolled up.
• Always activate any auto alarms or anti-theft devices.
• Keep books, tape players, and other valuables out of sight. Expensive items in full view invite theft even if the vehicle is locked. Don't advertise the types of equipment you have in your vehicle.
• Place valuable items in your trunk rather than on the front or back seats.
• Know the license plate number, year, make, and model of your vehicle.
• Do not leave money, checkbooks, or credit cards in the vehicle at any time.
PREVENTING BICYCLE THEFT:
• Keep bicycles locked any time they are unattended with a good "U" type lock. Second choice would be a good casehardened padlock and cable. Be sure the "U" lock or cable goes through the front wheel, rear wheel, and the frame, and secure it to a fixed object.
• Check the lock by pulling on it to make sure it is secure.
• Use an engraver to place an identifying mark on unpainted major bicycle components.
• Be sure to retain all evidence of purchase, including the serial number.
• Be able to identify the bicycle, not only by its color, but also by its features.
• Have one or more close up color photographs of the bicycle and its owner on hand.
• Register the bicycle with the Cumberland Police Department.
• Never loan your bicycle or other property to strangers.
• Try to avoid parking a bicycle in a deserted or poorly lit area.
PREVENTING THEFTS FROM OFFICES:
• Don't become complacent. Be aware. Be attentive.
• Don't showcase your office.
• Close and lock your office when it is unoccupied. It only takes seconds for a thief to notice an unoccupied office, walk in a put something into a book bag.
• Lock your desk, file cabinet, locker, etc.
• Don't leave your purse in that last drawer of your desk. Thieves know to look there.
REPORTING A CRIME OR EMERGENCY
An important responsibility of a victim or witness of a crime or other emergency is to report the incident to the appropriate authorities as quickly as possible. You can report an incident by calling the Security Department at 301-784-5555 (5555 on campus) or the Cumberland Police Department at 911. When doing so, attempt to provide as much detail as possible about the situation; including at least the following:
1. Your name
2. Your location and the telephone number where you can be reached
3. The nature of the problem you are reporting
4. Additional information as requested
When reporting a crime by telephone, remain on the phone until the person on the other end is fully briefed with all of the information necessary to dispatch the appropriate response personnel to the scene.
IF YOU WITNESS A CRIME
If you see or suspect a crime is being committed on campus, pay particular attention to the features of the offender(s) and any vehicles involved. Try to be prepared to provide at least the following about the offenders:
1. Age, race, height, and weight
2. Hair color and style, beard, and mustache
3. Notable characteristics (acne, scars, glasses mental state, etc.)
4. Clothing description
5. Location where last seen
6. Last known direction of travel
7. Vehicle description and distinctive markings
Witnesses who wish to remain anonymous may do so. It is more important that a response team be dispatched as quickly as possible.
IF YOU ARE VICTIMIZED
If you or your department/division becomes the victim of a crime on campus, report the offense immediately. Timely reporting of a crime improves the possibility of suspect apprehension and recovery of stolen property. If you are victimized, it is very important that you provide the investigating officer or security guard with as much information about the incident as possible.
The Security Department is responsible for the security and safety needs of Allegany College of Maryland. We cannot do this job alone. As a member of the College Community, you can help by calling us when you have a security-related problem or if you witness an incident occurring on campus.