- When leaving home, make sure that all doors and windows are locked – including the garage door.
- Watch out for people who are just hanging around and seem to be doing nothing, and do not carry large sums of money.
- If possible, travel with another person that you know well. This is especially true after dark.
- When carrying a purse or wallets, only place two or three five dollar bills inside. Credit cards, money, driver’s license, and keys should be carried in a coat pocket or hidden inside zipped pocket.
- At night, travel on well-lighted and busy streets. Avoid unlighted areas. Walk in the middle of the sidewalk and never in deserted areas.
- Walk on the side of the street where you would face oncoming traffic. If someone in car stops, walk or run in the opposite direction.
- Be careful of people who approach asking for directions or the time of day; keep a polite but safe distance. Do not let others use your cell phone, especially strangers even if they say it is an emergency. If there is an emergency you call 911 on your phone.
- If you feel someone is following you, go to the nearest house or building with people inside and ask for help.
- If you feel that you are in danger, cry out for help by yelling “FIRE! FIRE!” instead of “HELP”! This will grab the attention of others really fast!
- When returning home, after dark, unlock your door and get in quickly. If you think someone has broken in don’t go in leave and call the police.
Tips for Avoiding Being the Victim of a Street Crime
What criminals don’t want in a victim:
- AWARENESS: Know where you are, where you’re going and what is happening around you. This includes people, events taking place around you.
- RIGHT PLACE AT RIGHT TIME: Know about the safety of a neighbourhood and if you’re not sure ask someone you trust before you go there. Don’t walk or drive alone while in a bad neighbourhood.
- AGRESSIVE BODY LANGUAGE: Stand or walk confidently by keeping your head up, swing your arms and stand up straight. Always be aware of what is going on around you. Also, keep your distance when walking past strangers on the street or in dark areas.
- BE ON THE MOVE: While in a strange neighbourhood, focus on where you are going and get there. If you are in your car, think twice before staying there with the car doors unlocked before you drive off. If you are in a parking lot that might be unsafe, get in your car, lock the doors and leave.
- HIDE VALUABLES: When walking in a bad neighbourhood or at night, DO NOT WEAR flashy or expensive jewellery. Also, keep your purse inside your coat or tucked close to your body. Do not carry a loose bag or backpack.
- HIDE YOUR HAIR: Criminals will use things that they can pull on you. If you’re in a dangerous neighbourhood, consider putting your long hair up in a hat or tucking it inside your coat. Do not wear loose scarves, belts and backpacks or place them inside your coat.
- LOOK SCARY: If a criminal does not see you as being difficult or threatening, you could be the next victim. This can be quickly changed if you decide to carry something large and blunt such as a large golf umbrella or walking stick.
Created with the support of the City of Toronto