Sometimes "mean streets" isn't just an expression.
You owe it to yourself and those you care about
to stay alert, stay aware, and have a PLAN!
Because of the continuously evolving nature of crime as well as new techniques or technology in
crime prevention, be sure to check this page periodically for new or updated tips.
  1. Be aware of the image you project and always walk assertively and with purpose.
  2. Reduce your vulnerability - never flash large sums of money or credit cards.
  3. If you carry a purse, hold it close to your body, preferably in front.  Do not dangle it from your shoulder or in a manner
    which makes it an attractive target to a thief.  Wearing the strap of the purse across your chest with the purse in front is
    preferable for safety.
  4. ATM machines - timing is important - when possible, limit use of automatic teller machines to daylight hours (and even
    then, use caution).  Avoid ATM machines which are out of the way.  Many malls have such machines inside the mall itself.  
    If you have to use one outside the mall, do not keep your back to traffic the entire time.  You can position yourself so that
    you can be looking around you during the transaction.  Try to schedule an ATM stop during a time which would usually
    have lots of people and activity going on.
  5. "Safety in numbers" - try to walk with a friend/co-worker when on the street.  But if this is not possible or practical, be alert
    and look assertive.
  6. Walk on the side of the street facing traffic, near the curb, to avoid passing close to shrubbery, doorways, and other
    places where an assailant may be hiding.
  7. Avoid walking in dark, isolated or unfamiliar areas, especially at night.
  8. If a car stops and its driver asks you for directions, avoid getting too close to the vehicle.  If someone in the vehicle
    harasses you or follows you, turn abruptly and run in the opposite direction, toward a location that is busy with people.
  9. If you think you are being followed, cross the street, vary your pace, and/or change directions.  If the person persists, go to
    an area of safety (a store, public building, etc.) and seek alternatives to continuing on alone.
  10. Try to be familiar with where you are and what resources are available in the event you feel threatened (i.e., 24 hour gas
    stations, fire stations, 7-11s, etc.)
  11. Always be alert and aware.  Be sensitive to your "sixth sense" (your gut feeling).  If someone or something strikes a chord
    of fear in you, change your direction toward a populated area and ask for help, such as an escort to wherever you are
    going.  If you cannot leave your location, scream, yell, or whistle, but remember, the time to attract attention and/or run is
    before you are attacked.
  12. If you have a personal attack alarm or pepper stray - be instructed on the proper use of the item and then carry it in your
    hand whenever you are on the street (you will not have time to dig for it in your purse or pocket) and be prepared to use it if
    feeling threatened.*
  13. If you detect danger, turn and look at the potential danger to evaluate whether in fact a dangerous situation exists.  If you
    do not like what you see, prepare yourself mentally and physically.  If you feel that you are in immediate physical danger,
    evaluate the possibility of running and be prepared to use the weapon (personal attack alarm or pepper spray) which
    should already be in your hand.*

*WPSN does not endorse the use of any weapons, except a personal attack alarm.  Some weapons can cause unintential results or be used
against you.
For crime prevention tips,
click on one of these links.
Safety on the Street
Women's Personal Safety Network
Women's Safety
Information That's NOT
Just for Women Only!
Copyright© 2008 WPSN
See Safety for Seniors for more tips.