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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Be Street Smart

Modern times have changed and people need to change as well to stay safe and not be a 'victim'. This article could help save your life.
try this steps
1. Trust your gut instinct in any situation. Many people ignore that little warning voice inside of themselves. They talk themselves out of listening to it because they think they are being paranoid or they don't want to be the one to speak up. It can be your best friend around danger and help you make snap decisions. It is better to be paranoid than to become a victim.
2. Train yourself to be extra careful and alert around crowds. Watch and note any suspicious behavior. Criminals love crowds because they distract most people. Instruct your friends and family to be aware as well. Carry wallets,backpacks and purses in front of your body and never set anything down even for a 'minute' unless you are sitting and it is in front of you in your hands. If any stranger bumps into you or makes you stop suddenly because they abruptly stop in front of you, if they ask a question or causes a distraction of any kind, get real cautious. Most pickpockets work in twos or use children. If a strange child comes up to you in public to show you a drawing or something they are selling, watch for other people (even other children) around you. If you feel a insect bite you, or wet paint or bird poop get on your clothes and someone offers to brush you off-be aware it could be a pickpocket team.
3. Understand that evil comes in many forms. Stereotypes of what evil looks like in people cause people to relax in front of strangers. A criminal might not be male and dressed in all black! Danger can be inside the most normal and non-threatening adults and even children. It resides in beautiful and confident people. Don't tell your entire life story to any stranger.
4. Learn that losing control in ANY public setting is just plain dangerous. If you are even tipsy, your guard goes down. Be especially careful if you are a woman and the man with you is drunk. It makes you focus on him and is a magnet for other men to strike at you. Dump him in a cab or call a friend to help you. IF you sense danger on a street, TURN around and walk the opposite way.
5. Hold children's hands in public. Do not let them get in front or behind you in a crowd. Stay alert at all times of where they are. Instruct them to stay with you. Avoid leaving them alone in a public place.
6. Distrust anything that is too good to be true. Whether it is a get rich scheme, a beautiful person or couple flirting and coming on to you, a cheap way to sight-see without a established tour guide-DO not trust it and back away.
7. Contact the authorities if any stranger ever asks you to deliver or give a message. Especially if they offer you money.
8. Avoid stopping when walking on the street to give money or cigarettes. Just say "No thank you." Never walk to someones car to give directions. Keep your eyes in front of you and walk quickly. Ignore strangers that talk to you. When listening to a street musician be extra careful. Never hold any CASH in your hand no matter how small. If approached by a street gang and they ask where you are from, say "nowhere". Avoid staring any gang member in the eyes too long -it is a sign of disrespect. The best thing to do is leave the area at once and do not start any conversation with them.
9. Remember to be alert to people following you. If you are in a bar or hotel and you feel you are being watched, you most likely are right. Again trust that instinct. Call a friend to join or come get you if alone.
10. Practice being calm. Force yourself to think about the steps you will do and do not focus on how scared and upset you are. If you are with a group of people, take charge and become the "Calm" leader even if you do not feel calm. Tell them you have a "plan" even if you do not. Something will come to you in time.
11. Consider that many robberies take place on quiet streets. Criminals look for a 'lone' victim. They also love tourists because they are busy and distracted. Stay on guard. Do not talk and get lost in a phone conversation while walking in public. Stop and sit down if you need to talk to someone on your cell. If a armed robber does get to you, try to throw the wallet/purse away from you than run as fast as you can.
12. Blend in as best as you can. Sometimes this will be difficult, especially if you're the ethnic minority, but be cognizant of how the people around you dress and act. Try not to draw attention to yourself. You should never look like the wealthiest person in a crowd. If you have a physical feature that's different and eye-catching, try to minimize it. For example, if you have long, gorgeous blond hair, a troubled neighborhood is not the place to flaunt it. Wear it in a ponytail and put on a hat or a hood.
13. Imagine that you are confident as you walk the streets. Don't look scared. Don't appear nervous. If you happen to make eye contact with someone, don't look away suddenly, as if it was an accident. Look away slowly and casually. Pretend you've walked in that neighborhood a million times before. It helps to wear sunglasses/glasses on the street to prevent muggers from throwing items such as red pepper into your eyes to blind you as they rob you. In a restaurant try to sit with your back against the wall if possible. If muggers jump on your back, allow yourself to fall but try to break it with your hands. Give them your backpack, wallet or purse before getting up.
14. Get to know people. Establish rapport with neighbors who seem quiet and trustworthy. It's always good to know someone in the neighborhood who you can go to for help.
15. Learn assertive body language. If you are clutching your purse too tight, blinking fast, seem to be lost, uncertain or looking frazzled you could be targeted. Don't send out nervous or vulnerable signals by walking too fast either or constantly looking behind you. Be smart and leave the fancy electronic gadgets (ipods, laptops, etc,) at home. Street robbers love those expensive toys because they are easy to fence.

some tips
* Crime does not just take place at night and in bad areas. It can be anywhere and at anytime. It can happen in places you would never dream-national parks or monuments, amusement parks, churches, hospitals, weddings, tour buses and playgrounds. Many crimes happen early in the morning in the streets of big cities. It can happen in well lit streets or dimly lit areas. Understand that criminals can be all around you, they are walking, standing and in cars. Keep Vigilant.
* Watch out for people who are vulnerable-young children, teens and the elderly. They can be naive and good targets for criminals.Young adults under the age of 25 are very gullible still. Tell them to travel in packs while in high school or college. Teach your family how to stay safe and less trusting. Tell them that any stranger could be dangerous to them and to never hold on to their purses, phones or any items if the robber wants it.
* When the weather is hot-be even more on guard. Many criminals seem to strike during warm/hot spells. If a person approaches you wearing a hood over his head in hot weather or dressed in ski-cap or wool jacket-that is suspicious.
* Anyone can be a victim-even the 6' man. Don't fool yourself just because you are big and tall. Don't be the hero-just throw or give them the stuff they want and run or back away. Do not ever chase the mugger. You could be killed and it is not worth it. Never throw yourself or chase after the mugger's car-they can run you over.
* Always do your ATM banking when it feels safe. If there is even a doubt in your mind, don't do it.
* Carry some cash with you but never display it when you open your wallet or your purse. Avoid money clips and expensive jewelry. It makes you a target. Never keep all your cash in one place when traveling. Have some under a shirt or in a bra even a shoe. They sell items to help you hide money on your person. If you feel someone behind you in line is watching you-be 'careful' that they do not follow you. Keep your wallet and purse-clean and organized with no money floating around on the top.
* Don't let any stranger in your car. If you see a stranger fiddling or standing by your car-do not approach it. Contact authorities instead. Never leave any valuables in your car even the trunk.
* When traveling-pack very light and very organized. Do not be burdened with heavy suitcases as they will only distract you. Hold on and track your passport. Keep it on your person at all times. Never let it out of your sight and same with airline tickets. Give yourself and family plenty of time so you are not frazzled.
* Pickpockets always travel in couples or groups. One to distract and one to get to your items. If you feel distracted by a person/or a couple's antics (falling down, being drunk or crazy, a fight) in a public place, stop and look around.They are very fast and very skillful.
* If you are a single man and a attractive stranger approaches you. Talk to them but don't leave with them. They could be the "bait" to lure you into a very bad situation.
* If you see a crime happening in front of you, be very careful before stepping in. Take mental notes on everything that is happening and look around to see if others are watching. If you see a man assaulting a woman in public, try to get other people to help you with him. He could be carrying a weapon. Observe his height, weight, facial hair, any tattoos, skin marks or scars and clothes. Call the police. If you have his license plate, make sure to write it down or say it into your cell phone to a friend.
* If you have to sleep in public, have a friend watch your belongings. Never leave any purses/backpacks open when sitting.
* If you are traveling in a crowded bus or subway, people are going to be shoved next to you. The person with a magazine or newspaper could be a pickpocket. Keep a hand on your belongings at all times and don't wear a expensive watch in public transport or while traveling.
* Never give any personal information or credit card information over the phone to a stranger. Even if they say they work for a charity or cause. Delete any e-mails from strangers or any contacts from your bank, credit card or pay pal.They are scams. If not sure about any e-mail-delete it.
* Stop your car if a person jumps in front of it but do not OPEN the door. If the person has a weapon and is hitting or smashing your car, keep driving. If a person taps on your car window do not roll it down.
* When traveling abroad dress 'down'. Make sure your kids are not wearing expensive shoes and other items. Do not look like a "Rich American". Don't carry around camera equipment that is very expensive. Lock all suitcases all of the time in any hotel.
* Remember the elbow is the strongest weapon on your body.
* If locked in the trunk of a car, kick out the back headlights when the car is moving, not when the car is idling. Wave your arm out of the hole. Someone could see you. Look for the trunk release as well.
* if you are bi lingual, use that against them... you can trick them into thinking that you arnt going to be easy to steal from, so they will bi-pass you...


Remember!!!

* Use common sense-do not put yourself or other people in your life in uncertain, dangerous situations. If walking down the street and you feel or see a situation that does not look right or feel right than walk the opposite direction even if it take you out of the way to where you are going. If you are jogging-do it with a pal or in a very safe area where you are not alone. Beware of big city parks where criminals can hide and jump at you. if you are a tourist- Never walk around very late at night in a big city by yourself-take a taxi. Avoid bad neighborhoods.
* Avoid Public rest stops. A better choice is a drive-in or large drug store. When traveling try to empty your bladder in safe places.
* If on a city bus-beware that you can be robbed on it. Be Careful if it is empty or a double decker-sit behind the bus driver if possible. If a person gets on bus and your instinct screams 'danger' just get off and catch another one. Do not let them get off the bus behind you though.
* If a stranger on the street offers to sell you anything, be very careful. Do not trust or believe anything they have to say. They want you to part with your money for something. Just say a polite "no thank you".
* If someone blocks you in your car with their car, do not open the doors for any reason. Stay calm and use your cell phone to call police. If a criminal blocks or pins you on the sidewalk, be calm, assertive and aggressive. Make lots of noise by saying "Please move now!" in a very loud strong voice. If they don't move, call to a stranger by his or her hair and shirt color, asking them to call for help at once. If no one is on the street, than pretend there is and call out to the stranger who will help you. If they have you in a headlock, tuck your chin in and try to trip them then run.
* Stop if you are in a mall, any retail store, sports arena or restaurant and feel your eyes and throat burning. Get out at once. Do not worry about the bill or if you are trying on clothes. Whatever it is that you were doing, forget about it and get outside. Sometimes criminals put poison gas/tear gas in air vents. Use your clothes to block your nose as you get out.
* If you are in a store or other public building and someone comes in with a gun, get down at once. If they start firing, than force yourself to lay still or pretend to be dead. Do what the criminal wants but make yourself a'undesirable' victim. If they force you to stand up than pretend to throw up or pretend to have a heart or breathing attack. Pee on yourself. Tell them you need your medications. Do not use your cell phone.
* If you witness a purse snatching on a elderly person, don't chase after the mugger. Call for an ambulance instead for the elderly person. They could have a heart attack or injuries from being pushed. If the elderly person is bleeding from the head-do not move them! Call for help asap. Stay with the elderly person until help arrives.
* If you are elderly and a strange man with a big smile comes towards you in the public to help you, Say "STOP". Then "I do not need your help." Do not go with him. Better safe than sorry. If it is cold outside and the person is sweaty or agitated, they could be on drugs or suffering from nervious energy. Take extreme caution and move away from them.
* If you see a group of 5 to 10 youths who are looking for trouble-do whatever it takes to move away from them. There are gangs of kids who will mug, beat or sometimes 'taser' their victims in broad daylight.
* Don't sit in your car after you shop or have returned from an restaurant. You can talk on the phone or make your to do list at home. A predator could be watching. Immediately start your car, lock the doors and drive away. If there is a person with a gun to your head in the back seat or they get in the passenger side, start the car if they ask you to do so. No matter where you are, gun the car as fast as you can and ram the car front into something like a wall or a tree. Just hit something. The airbag may deploy. Get out of car as soon as you can. It is better to be in a car accident than to drive with an armed predator. If you and a predator, who has a gun on you, are walking but you are not in his control, run away as fast as you can in a zig zag pattern. The chances of you being killed if he shoots at you are slimmer than being in his control.
* Don't use the stairs, use the elevator, especially at night.
* Always walk with a friend if you can. A buddy around sometimes could mean life or death in a mugging or fight.