Senior Citizen Safety

As people grow older, their chances of being victims of crime decrease dramatically. But a lifetime of experience coupled with the physical problems associated with aging often make older Americans fearful. Even though they may be on the lookout constantly for physical attack and burglary, they're not as alert for frauds and con games.

Telephone Callers

You control conversations and information flow on your telephone. If you do not know the caller, do not volunteer information. Should the caller ask: "Who is this?" you should respond: "Whom are you calling?" or "Whom do you wish to speak to?" Make the caller identify whom he/she is calling. If you do not receive an appropriate response, hang up.

Do not allow yourself to be drawn into conversations with strange callers, census/survey takers or business promotion sales persons where you are asked to reveal your name, address, marital status, personal history information, etc.

At the Door

Most of the time, the person at your door will be there for a legitimate reason, whether they are a friend or a stranger. If the caller is a stranger, you should immediately become alert. Never open your door to a stranger. You should have a one-way peephole installed in the door that allows you to see who the caller is. The one-way peephole is inexpensive and easily installed.

Establish the caller's identity and the reason for the visit If he/she refuse to show identification and will not leave, quietly go to the telephone and notify the police. Should the caller produce identification but you still are not sure of the validity of the visit, telephone the caller's business office for confirmation. If you still feel uncomfortable, do not open the door; ask them to leave.

There are a number of ways you can secure your doors. If you do not feel your locks are adequate, we recommend that you contact a professional locksmith or friend to assist you. Should you consider improving the security of your home, investigate thoroughly your lock requirements and the cost of upgrading the security of your doors, because a lock is only as effective as the door and frame on which it is installed.

Safety on the Street

The majority of street crimes are crimes of opportunity. The thief is looking for an easy target: a woman walking down a quiet street or a man who has just cashed his pension check and has been observed with a substantial amount of money. Or the thief decides that this is the right place and the right time, and you just happen to be there. The thief is very likely to be a teenager, a male and a stranger to you. The most common street crime is purse snatching. The thief approaches you from behind or face on, catches you unaware, grabs your purse and runs. It happens so quickly that you do not have a chance to see who the thief is.

There have been reports of men having their wallets taken from them by force These offenses do not occur that often, but they do occur. You may ask yourself: "How can I prevent myself from becoming a victim?" There are ways in which you can reduce the risks and increase your sense of personal security. Here are a number of rules and guidelines. It is up to you to determine how these rules and guidelines apply to your situation.

Never do the following:
  • Carry large sums of money
  • Carry valuables in full view on your person
  • Flash your money for anyone to see

Guidelines for Women

If you are going to the store for groceries, take along only the amount of money you feel you will need. Be alert when you are carrying a purse on the street or in a store. Use a shoulder strap model and keep it tucked between your body and your arm. Do not dangle a purse by the straps or hold a clutch-style purse just in the hand.

If your purse is a clasp type, carry the purse so that it opens towards your body. If you look as though you are protecting your purse, you will not be considered an easy target. Do not wrap purse straps around your wrist or you could be dragged along or knocked to the ground in the event of a "snatch." Shop in pairs or in a group, or change your route to avoid a certain street cornet or youth hangout. Do not be embarrassed to call the police. It is our job to assist you and investigate problem areas.