Archive for the ‘Crime Watch’ Category

The one place that everyone should feel safe is at home.

Sometimes, we forget that when we’re in the safety of our home to keep vigilant and alert, especially when we are coming or going.

Ladies, here are some important safety precautions to remember at home.  However, everyone should be aware of these tips too.

  • Always have your key ready before you get to your front door and pay attention to what’s around you.
  • Keep ALL windows and doors locked at all times when you’re away from your residence no matter what the temperature is outside.
  • Keep your front entrance area well lit, replace light bulbs regularly, and make sure that fixtures are in good working order.  If possible, have motion lights installed in addition to the regular outside lights.
  • If you arrive home and find your front door open: DO NOT GO INSIDE, call the police immediately from your cell phone, neighbor’s house, or pay phone.
  • If you live in an apartment, list only your last name and first initial on your mailbox.
  • Don’t buzz someone in to your building or apartment complex unless you know them.
  • The same goes for holding the door open for someone that you don’t know that has been waiting.  Don’t let anyone into your building or apartment complex that you don’t know.
  • If a stranger needs to use your phone in an emergency, keep them out, and offer to make the call for them.
  • If you ever have ANY doubt or feel threatened in any way, call the police.  Report anything that seems suspicious to the police immediately.

These are just a few important safety precautions to remember when you’re at home, especially when you’re alone.  Everyone should always feel safe and secure inside their own home.

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There are times that we find ourselves going out at night for fun or a special celebration.  You could be going to a restaurant or nightclub to meet friends.  Or, you could be meeting someone for the first time in a public place.

It’s so important to remember that even though you’re in a pubic place, you still need to be alert and vigilant about what’s going on around you.  This is true for both women and men.

Here are some simple safety tips to remember as you venture out into the nightlife for fun and entertainment:

  • Be sure to tell someone, friend, neighbor, or family member where you’re going.
  • DO NOT accept drinks from someone if you didn’t see the drink being prepared. 
  • DO NOT leave your drink unattended for ANY period of time — EVER.
  • DO NOT leave your purse or handbag unattended for ANY period of time.
  • Carry a cell phone and always have enough money for a taxi ride home if necessary.
  • If at all possible, arrange a buddy system with a friend to keep watch of one another.
  • Know where all emergency and/or fire exits are in the building.  Know your outside surroundings, such as streets, landmarks, etc.  
  • If you plan on drinking, ALWAYS have a designated driver or take a taxi.
  • NEVER leave a bar or nightclub with a stranger.
  • If you’re being a harassed or if something doesn’t seem right to you don’t hesitate to report it to a security guard, nightclub bouncer, or the police.

Most importantly…

Have a great time! 

Just take a few moments to remember these tips before you venture out for some fun nightlife and pass these tips on to friends, family, and coworkers.

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Citizens Unite! 

If you are a victim of ANY crime – Report It!

If you’re robbed on the street, someone breaks into your house, or you’ve been swindled – Report It! 

It has been reported from law enforcement agencies that one out of every two crimes goes unreported.  It’s either because victims don’t think that the police can do anything about it or they just don’t want to get involved.

It can’t be stressed enough that if crimes go unreported then the criminals are going to continue to operate without any interference.  Reporting ALL crimes will help law enforcement to assign the appropriate number of officers to troubled locations, and information provided by victims and witnesses can lead to the arrest and prosecution of a criminal. 

Your local law enforcement agency needs your help to fight crime.

1.                  Report ALL crimes to your local police department.

2.                  No fact is too trivial.

3.                  Report ANY and ALL suspicious activities in your neighborhood.

4.                  Get help immediately or call 9-1-1.

5.                  If the crime just occurred or is in progress, call 9-1-1.

6.                  Call a doctor, if necessary.

7.                  Call a friend or family member.

8.                  Try to remember ALL details, such as clothing, hair color, vehicle descriptions, identifiable marks or features, etc.

9.                  Try not to destroy any possible evidence.

10.              Keep important emergency and non-emergency numbers available, such as victim’s services, crime stoppers, police department, vehicle abatement, animal control, etc.

For more information about crime and emergencies, please don’t hesitate to contact your local police department or community service officer.

If you’re interested in starting a neighborhood watch:

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Many of us take advantage of enjoying our local parks and beaches, especially this time of year when the weather is still nice and warm.  It’s a great place to just relax or enjoy regular exercise, such as walking and jogging. 

Living in California, I love to take advantage of all the wonderful parks and beaches whenever I can.  It’s a great place for me to relax and take a break from my writing.  Sometimes, I get my best story ideas walking at the beach with my dogs.  However, I am still aware of my surroundings, even as I enjoy the great outdoors and beautiful scenery.

Emily Stone, the heroine in my novels Compulsion and Dead Game, is dedicated to public safety, suggests the following tips to stay safe for the park and beach enthusiast:

1.                  Remember, there is always safety in numbers.  It is recommended that you walk or run with a friend.  For me, I have a large, trained, black dog that accompanies me when I’m alone and he has deterred a couple of individuals from possibly making me a potential crime victim in the past. 

 2.                  Don’t take shortcuts or dirt paths through wooded areas.

3.                  Stay on well-lit and populated path areas.

4.                  Remain alert and aware at all times.  As fun as it is to wear headphones with your favorite music, if you are alone don’t wear them, it can distract you from your surroundings.

5.                  Familiarize yourself with your local park or beach and know where the public phones or police call boxes are located, even if you have your personal cell phone with you.  It’s always a good idea to know where these emergency phones are located.

6.                  Know the locations of any stores or businesses that may be open in the vicinity of the park or beach.  These types of locations may be a safe place to go if you feel threatened or need assistance.

7.                  Don’t wear an excessive amount of jewelry because this will make you stand out.

8.                  Closely supervise children and instruct them how to response to strangers.

9.                  If someone attempts to verbally harass you, keep walking and continue to a populated area or business.  If you do respond to this type of behavior, it could escalate the situation.  It’s always better to be cautious and find a safe, populated location. 

10.              ALWAYS report suspicious persons or activities to the local police.  Remember to dial “911” for emergency police or medical services.

If you happen to become a victim of a crime at the park, beach, or anywhere for that matter, the police recommend the following:

1.                  Remain calm.

2.                  Don’t make any quick or sudden movements.

3.                  Don’t be a hero.  No amount of money or personal property is worth your life.

4.                  Be observant.  Try to remember everything you can about the criminal: sex, age, race, clothing, height, weight, and anything that would help to identify the criminal.

5.                  Call the police immediately after the incident.

Crime in parks and at the beach isn’t commonplace, but it’s always important to remember these simple tips and to be prepared just in case of an emergency. 

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Emily Stone is definitely a woman who would stand up and fight no matter what she encountered.  However, in real life each person must decide on their own how they would react to a potentially dangerous situation. 

What would you do?

It has been stated from various representatives of law enforcement that victims are often hurt by the “startle factor”.  Victims were not paying attention to their surroundings or they were engrossed in a phone call when they were approached by the criminal element.  Those individuals who responded well remained calm, collected, and logical.  They basically kept a cool head and weighed their options.  Some individuals are feistier than others and have averted a potentially dangerous situation that could have gone either way.

To stay calm and logical during a potentially dangerous situation, there are several things to keep in mind.  Here’s a helpful list of the face-to-face factors to consider:

1.                  Your Wariness

How are you presenting yourself in a situation alone?  Don’t be a target because you’re daydreaming, using your phone, or being timid and unsure.  Use your self-confidence and alertness.

2.                  Your Willingness

What are you willing to do in a dangerous situation?  Would you truly fight for your life and never give up?

3.                  Your Abilities

Ask yourself what your strategy would be if you were in a dangerous situation.  Run some scenarios through your mind.

4.                  Your Personality

Everyone is different.  Are you more of a passive or aggressive person?  If you’re more of a passive person, can you step up and “fake” being assertive?

5.                  Type of Assailant

Quickly study the type of assailant that has approached you.  Is this persona scared, confident, a lunatic, or somewhere in between?

6.                  The Location

Location is important.  Is it an area that you know well and frequent?  Familiarity and populated areas generally intimidate any potential assailant. 

7.                  Presence of Weapon or Accomplice    

You might not see any weapon or accomplice at first, or the assailant might use his weapon immediately.  Weigh the situation carefully, but quickly before you react.


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One of the biggest problems facing law enforcement with catching and prosecuting Internet child pornographers is that technology hasn’t caught up with this type of crime yet.  It’s an immense problem and the scope of it seems almost endless for these dogged investigators.  The problem with the investigative process is analyzing and classifying images.  This process is overwhelming and extremely time consuming.

How many children are victims of online sexual exploitation?

  • In 2008, it was reported that there were approximately 8.6 million child pornography images and videos on the Internet.

The 2008 Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) Annual Report revealed these staggering statistics of child pornography Internet victims:

  • 69% are under ten years old.
  • 24% are six years old and younger.
  • Some are babies.

According to the latest online victimization research through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC):

  • Approximately one in seven youth online (10 to 17-years-old) received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet.
  • Four percent (4%) received an aggressive sexual solicitation – a solicitor who asked to meet them somewhere; called them on the telephone; or sent them offline mail, money, or gifts.
  • Thirty-four percent (34%) had an unwanted exposure to sexual material — pictures of naked people or people having sex.
  • Twenty-seven percent (27%) of the youth who encountered unwanted sexual material told a parent or guardian. If the encounter was defined as distressing – episodes that made them feel very or extremely upset or afraid – forty-two percent (42%) told a parent or guardian.

There have been two new software tools developed to catch these child predators: NetClean Analyze and Oak Ridge System.

NetClean Analyze addresses the key issues to help minimize time investigators look at and duplicate images and videos, allows for collaboration between police departments, and facilitates more efficient customized reports.  This software has been made available to ALL law enforcement agencies.

The Oak Ridge System runs software to rapidly scan hard drives on confiscated computers, which assists investigators in quickly reducing the amount of time for forensic analysis. 

There are other emerging tools and software that will further assist in these investigations to help prosecute these child predators. 

I can’t emphasize enough that you must be vigilant if you are a parent to keep your children safe when they are on the Internet.  If you EVER see ANY child pornography on the Internet or if your child alerts you to anything inappropriate, REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY to your local police department.  ALL children should be safe from child predators and pornographers on the Internet.


Jennifer Chase
Award Winning Author & Criminologist

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Emily Stone is the heroine in my novels Compulsion, Dead Game, and soon to be released this year Dark Mind. She expertly tracks down pedophiles and serial killers and then anonymously emails her entire investigation to the police detective in charge of the case. She’s definitely one high-tech super sleuth that gets the job done as more criminals are taken off the streets. Her compulsion is to make sure that children, neighbors, and communities are safe from crime.
It’s important not to become a target for a potential crime and there are a few basic tips that will help to keep you safe when traveling from one destination to the next.

Try and remember these three basic tips when you’re out in public areas:

1. Alert – be prepared and alert to where you are going and what you’re going to be doing next. Don’t get distracted by searching through your purse for keys or dialing your cell phone as you leave work or a shopping area. This makes you unaware of what’s going on around you and who could be watching you. It could potentially make you a crime target. If you are walking out to a parking lot have your key or alarm release ready. Get inside your vehicle and lock your doors before you do anything that takes your mind off the immediate surroundings.

2. Confidence – move and walk with confidence. That means make eye contact and carry your body straight with your shoulders back and down looking straight ahead. Confidence can be a valuable defense tactic and it can go a long way to help deter being a potential crime victim.

3. Observe – take a few seconds to observe your surroundings. It can be just a quick glance in several directions or studying something in more detail. If something doesn’t look or seem right to you, then retreat back into a public area for assistance. Also, if you notice something that seems out of place remember simple things, such as the exact location, description of all people involved, cars or objects, and exactly what you observed. This can be extremely important information to police investigations.

I actually carry a small spiral notebook, something that I can slip into a pocket or purse, to record anything that I feel looks out of place in public locations. That way I can refer to my notes if something ever transpires from the observed situation.

If you ever feel that you are in any danger or witness any type of crime, don’t hesitate to call the police immediately.


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Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting