Posts Tagged ‘crime prevention’

One of the most common questions about crime prevention is about neighborhood watch.  Many people want to know how to start one.  This is a great question.  I think many will be surprised how easy and fun it is to start a neighborhood watch.

First, check out a great website about getting started.  It will give you an overview and some things to think about.  www.USAOnWatch.org/

  • Determine the area you want to organize (the larger the better).
  • Talk to surrounding neighbors and find out how many want to assist and participate (8-10 households is a good number).
  • Set up a free neighborhood watch website to coordinate your efforts.

Here are five basic steps to get you started and motivated:

1. Contact your local police/sheriff’s department to schedule speakers for your neighborhood watch group.  Make sure you pick a location to accommodate your group and presentation (grange, hall, school, etc).

2. Invite your neighbors.  Get a name, phone number, and email list.  Send out flyers about two to three weeks before your presentation meeting and then follow up with a “reminder” a couple of days before.

3. Prepare a neighborhood map.  This map should have the houses, names, and phone numbers of each household.

4. Benefits of the presentation.  You will learn how to develop a plan of action, crime prevention techniques, personal safety, how to report suspicious activity, meet your neighbors and develop a communication network, order neighborhood watch signs, and recruit your coordinator and block captains.

5. Maintaining your neighborhood watch plan.  Keep your plan on track with meetings, neighborhood outings, and a monthly newsletter, website or blog.

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Author Blog: http://authorjenniferchase.com/

Crime Watch Blog: https://emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind  Silent Partner  Screenwriting

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The age-old saying, “If it seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is” holds true most of the time.

Has this every happened to you or someone you know?  You receive a call or letter from a so-called broker offering some type of investment tip.  It can actually be a well-scripted, elaborate scam.  First they get your confidence because they state they don’t want any money from you, etc.  Then after the third or fourth phone call or letter, they have a great opportunity with no risk to you for a certain $$$.

In this day and age, money is tight, taxes are high, and budgets are being squeezed.  We all want to make more money to give family and ourselves a little breathing room and some financial freedom.

What should you do?

Here are seven guidelines for staying safe from “would be” scams:

  1. Work with trusted professionals.

Ask for references on any broker or financial group you’re considering investing with and actually call these references.  Make sure that your broker answers all your questions.

  1. Know when to hang up the phone.

Ignore unsolicited calls.  Never give out ANY personal information, even if they say they are representing your bank or credit card company.

  1. Take the time to really look at the proposal.

Don’t make a quick, hasty decision.  Allow it to sit and do your homework.

  1. Watch your credit cards.

Always shred and carefully store any credit card receipts.  Make it a habit to always review your credit card statements each month.

  1. Take a step back and know when you’re the most vulnerable.

If you’re in a vulnerable situation, it can make it easier to fall victim to a scam.  Know exactly what you’re investing in and take the necessary steps outlined above before you act.  Don’t let fear drive your investment.

  1. Be wary of something that you want to hear.

Anyone who is trying to sell something, even the legitimate ones, know how to make a hard sale based on people’s hopes and dreams.  Listen, but make your decision on the entire picture with the “worst case” and “best case” scenarios.

  1. Remember, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

It’s generally best not to buy on a “hot tip” or when it’s offered to “only a select group of people”.  Do your homework and only make investments that you can afford and afford to lose.

Finally, if you believe that you or anyone you know are being targeted for a scam, REPORT IT immediately to law enforcement.

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Author Blog: http://authorjenniferchase.com/

Crime Watch Blog: https://emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind  Silent Partner  Screenwriting

It’s that time of year again – yes, I mean winter.  There are some places that have more of a severe winter than others, but everyone can benefit from a few safety tips for the upcoming season.

 Fireplace Safety

  • Always use seasoned wood to help reduce creosote build up in your chimney.  Creosote is highly combustible and can cause a chimney fire.
  • Fireplace chimneys should be inspected and cleaned annually.
  • NEVER use flammables or combustibles to start fires in your fireplace.
  • ALWAYS dispose of fireplace ashes in metal container and store them away from the house for at least seven days.

 

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning can be difficult at times to distinguish between having a cold or flu.  If undetected, high levels in the home can cause severe illness or death.  INSTALL an approved Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector within ten feet of every bedroom or sleeping area.  This is a law in many states.
  • Check your Carbon Monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors seasonally or during the daylight savings times.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning appliances are installed properly and working according to manufacture’s guidelines.
  • Have combustion appliances inspected every year.
  • Install an exhaust fan, vented to outside over any gas stove.
  • Never use your cooking stove to heat your home.
  • Don’t sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.

 

Winter Driving Safety

  • Clear and defrost windows completely before driving.
  • Consider new tires.  Tire tread can improve acceleration, braking, and handling.
  • Remember overpasses, ramps, and bridges will freeze before the roadway.  Drive with caution.
  • Slow down!  Decreasing speed will increase your handling ability and give you an opportunity to avoid most accidents.

Author Blog: http://authorjenniferchase.com/

Crime Watch Blog: https://emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind  Silent Partner  Screenwriting

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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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

It’s the holiday time again!

This is the time where many of us are busy, with not only everyday things, but with shopping, holiday decorating, parties, and much more.  This is also the time where we need to be careful in protecting our families and homes from burglaries, identity theft, and assault. 

The holidays can be a time where potential criminals use it to their advantage because often times we are distracted and staying vigilant.

Here are a few simple reminders for home and shopping safety during the holiday season.

Home Safety

1.                  Be extra cautious about locking ALL windows and doors when you leave the house, even if you’re gone for only a few minutes.  Also, make sure that your windows and doors are properly bolted for added security.

2.                  Be careful of large displays of holiday gifts visible through windows and doors of your home.  This can be too tempting for “would be” burglars.

3.                  If you’re leaving your home for any extended length of time, have a neighbor, friend, or family member keep an eye on your home and pick up newspapers and mail.

4.                  Have indoor and outdoor lights on an automatic timer.

5.                  If possible, leave a radio or television on to give the appearance of an occupied home.

Shopping Safety

1.                  Try to do your holiday shopping during daylight hours, if possible.  If you have to shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

2.                  Dress comfortably and casually, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

3.                  Try NOT to carry a purse or wallet, if possible.  Always carry your driver’s license or ID card, checks or credit cards that you plan on using for your shopping excursion.  Try to keep these items in a front pocket. 

4.                  Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.  Try to pay for purchases with a check or credit card whenever possible.

5.                  If your credit card(s) are lost or stolen, notify the credit card issuer immediately.  Also, if it has been stolen, notify the police and file a report.  Make sure to keep a record of ALL your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

6.                  ALWAYS stay alert to your surroundings.

7.                  Avoid overloading yourself with packages.  Make sure that you have a clear visibility and are able to move around freely.

8.                  Keep packages out of plain view in your car.  Put them in the trunk or out of plain sight.

9.                  Beware of strangers approaching you for ANY reason.  This time of year where there are many “con artists” that will try to distract your attention to take your belongings or money.

Most of all, have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.

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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

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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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

Emily Stone has some interesting ways that she fights back against crime and injustice in Compulsion and Dead Game.  She has been known to fight with punches and kicks, but she also has an uncanny ability to infer subtle clues in order to track child pedophiles and killers.

What are victim’s options when suddenly confronted or threatened by a criminal predator? 

Interestingly, there are guidelines that the FBI suggests if you are confronted in a crime situation along with a couple of other options that I’d like to share.  I think Emily has exhibited all but one of these guidelines. 

1.                  Posturing

If you show that you’re confident and would be a possible tough target, predators will generally wait for an easier target.  Be aware of your surroundings and know where you are going.  Never look unsure about your next move. This can be a signal to a predator.  Stand up straight and look ahead and subtly around you.  Confidence can carry you a long way to safety. 

2.                  Outsmarting

Sometimes it may be possible to verbally diffuse a situation and maneuver yourself to an escape route.  This requires a cool head and the ability to surmise a situation.  This may not be the best technique for everyone, but it definitely has its place in some situations.   

3.                  Fleeing

This technique falls under our primal reaction to danger as the “fight or flight” mechanism.  It may seem obvious that you should run away from danger, but it might not be possible under certain conditions.

4.                  Surrendering

This technique may be implemented if you see an opportunity to escape at a later moment or fight.

5.                  Fighting

This has been referred to as “stun and run”.  Basically you fight with everything you have in order to escape the situation. 

It’s not always easy to know what you’re going to do in any given situation, but you should be vigilante, aware, and confident.

Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting