That’s not to say that you should board up your windows and hide out in your basement with a transistor radio and tinfoil hat. These are common sense suggestions, most of which you are already know. But, given the recent spike in crime in the area (especially the terrifying home invasions on Monday night), we thought we’d share some helpful tips from our friends at the 94th precinct and The Anti-Violence Project.
1. Always walk with a friend, especially at night. If you need an escort, contact Brooklyn Bike Patrol, which provides certified volunteers to escort women safely home from subway stations during late night hours (usually 10pm-4am, 7 days a week). If you’re going out late at night, let a friend or roommate know where you’re headed (the location, the person you are meeting, your plans for the evening, etc.). Make sure your cell phone is on you and charged when you go out alone. Avoid isolated areas!
2. Don’t text while walking. If you’re listening to music while walking, leave one earphone out. Stay aware of your surroundings.
3. If someone is following you, walk to a public area, store, or deli. It’s always safer to have at least one other person near you. Call 911.
4. If someone is following you near your house, don’t go in. They may try to follow you into the building. Walk to a public area or store and make sure they are gone before returning home. Call 911.
5. Get a dog! Dogs acts as good deterrents against potential attackers. A word of advice from Officer Truglio of the 94th precinct: “Don’t get a chihuahua.” For some reason, they’re not that intimidating. And don’t just get a dog for security. Get it because you will love it and be a great pet owner. Dogs have feelings, too and need a lot of time and attention. If you do adopt, adopt a stray pet!
6. To avoid home invasion, have your landlord check your lock to make sure it’s secure. Since many of us are renters without the luxury of alarm systems or security cameras, it’s important to do the best you can to make sure you’re home is safe. If you want extra protection, consider getting an additional deadbolt (at least 1.5 inches in length). If the wood around your door is weak or old, ask your landlord to replace it. Consider getting rental insurance, if you don’t have it already! And of course, make sure your apartment door is always locked behind you. According to NY1, one of the break-in’s last week occurred because of an unlocked door. Don’t answer your door, unless you’re expecting someone. And even if you are expecting someone make sure the person at the door is the person you are expecting.
For more info, be sure to attend the Meeting on Crime @ Church of the Ascension on 8/19 (127 Kent St.) 6:30pm, to discuss the recent spike in neighborhood crime with local police officers and Neighborhood Watch.
*From AVP: The Anti-Violence Campaign is here to support survivors of all forms of violence, including pick up, dating, sexual, intimate partner, hate, and police violence. If you have witnessed or experienced violence, we encourage you to call their 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at (212) 714-1141, where you can speak with a counselor. You can also use our confidential online reporting form at www.avp.org.