Crime prevention is "The anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of action to remove or reduce it." Crime prevention means using your instincts and common sense as well as taking action to reduce a criminal's opportunity.
There are three elements a criminal must possess for a crime to occur: desire, ability, and opportunity. Eliminate even one element, and the crime won't occur. We have little control over the first two elements, but we can significantly control "opportunity." A large part of the responsibility of reducing criminal opportunity lies with the individual - YOU!
Crime prevention is everyone's business!
Three basic rules for personal safety
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Give the impression that you're calm, confident, and know where you're going.
- Trust your instincts. If it doesn't look or feel right, it might not be.
Safety Tips for Life On and Off Campus
- Lock your residence room or office door whenever you leave.
- Keep your residence room locked even when you're in it. Keep exterior common area residence doors locked. The "pizza delivery guy" might not be the only person who enters.
- If possible, never walk alone at night. Always walk with a friend, or call University Police for an officer escort.
- If you must walk alone, choose a route that avoids dark or vacant areas. Project a calm, confident image, and walk with a sense of purpose.
- Have your car, building, or room key in your hand and ready for use before getting to the door. This prevents standing at the door while fumbling for a key.
- Look into the front and back of your car before getting into it. Once inside, lock the doors.
- Park your car in a well-lit area. Don't leave valuables in your car. If you must, don't leave them in plain view. Putting them in the trunk is best. Consider investing in a car alarm system.
- Know the location of campus emergency call boxes. At Penn State Shenango there are call boxes in Perking Lot "D" by the maintenance building and in front of the Physical Therapy/Ag Extension Building.
- Don't leave backpacks, bags, purses, etc. unattended unless they're locked up. Don't keep large sums of money or extremely valuable items in your office or in your room.
- Register your bike with University Police, and lock it with a solid, quality lock. Engrave your driver's license number on valuable equipment.
- Never loan your I.D. or keys to anyone. Don't label your keys in a way that identifies what doors they open. Protect your identity, your social security number, credit card numbers, account codes, passwords, and all other personal information.
- Be certain of whom you're giving your identity information to and why you're giving it to them. Never hesitate to ask for a person's/caller's identification, and never hesitate to refuse to give your information.
- Don't leave messages on your door or answering machine indicating that you're out of your room, home, or office. Salespeople are not permitted to solicit on campus. If a salesperson comes to your residence, call University Police immediately. Don't place an order or buy anything from a door-to-door salesperson on campus.
- If you see anything or anyone that looks suspicious, call University Police immediately. The activity or person might not be a problem, but University Police will check it out.
- Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!