Crime prevention is "The anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of action to remove or reduce it." Crime prevention means using your instincts and common sense as well as taking action to reduce a criminal's opportunity.
There are three elements a criminal must possess for a crime to occur: desire, ability, and opportunity. Eliminate even one element, and the crime won't occur. We have little control over the first two elements, but we can significantly control "opportunity." A large part of the responsibility of reducing criminal opportunity lies with the individual - YOU!
Crime prevention is everyone's business!
Three basic rules for personal safety are:
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Give the impression that you're calm, confident, and know where you're going.
- Trust your instincts. If it doesn't look or feel right, it might not be.
Safety Tips for Life On and Off Campus
- Lock your residence room or office door whenever you leave.
- Keep your residence room locked even when you're in it. Keep exterior common area residence doors locked. The "pizza delivery guy" might not be the only person who enters.
- If possible, never walk alone at night. Always walk with a friend, or call University Police for an officer escort.
- If you must walk alone, choose a route that avoids dark or vacant areas. Project a calm, confident image, and walk with a sense of purpose.
- Have your car, building, or room key in your hand and ready for use before getting to the door. This prevents standing at the door while fumbling for a key.
- Look into the front and back of your car before getting into it. Once inside, lock the doors.
- Park your car in a well-lit area. Don't leave valuables in your car. If you must, don't leave them in plain view. Putting them in the trunk is best. Consider investing in a car alarm system.
- Know the location of campus emergency call boxes. At Penn State Beaver, there is a call box at the Ross Administration Building, gymnasium, library, and Police Services Building. Using a call box will connect you with 911.
- Don't leave backpacks, bags, purses, etc. unattended unless they're locked up. Don't keep large sums of money or extremely valuable items in your office or in your room.
- Register your bike with University Police, and lock it with a solid, quality lock. Engrave your driver's license number on valuable equipment, or ask a University Police officer to engrave items for you. This engraving is a free service provided for our students, faculty, and staff.
- Never loan your I.D. or keys to anyone. Don't label your keys in a way that identifies what doors they open. Protect your identity, your social security number, credit card numbers, account codes, passwords, and all other personal information.
- Be certain of whom you're giving your identity information to and why you're giving it to them. Never hesitate to ask for a person's/caller's identification, and never hesitate to refuse to give your information.
- Don't leave messages on your door or answering machine indicating that you're out of your room, home, or office. Salespeople are not permitted to solicit on campus. If a salesperson comes to your residence, call University Police immediately. Don't place an order or buy anything from a door-to-door salesperson on campus.
- If you see anything or anyone that looks suspicious, call University Police immediately. The activity or person might not be a problem, but University Police will check it out.
- Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!