How to Protect Yourself on City Streets

Street crime is on the increase in most large U.S cities. It is also becoming more prevalent in small communities. The following list of "safeguards" will help protect you - and may even save your life!


  1. When leaving home, make sure that all doors and windows are locked - including the garage door.
  2. Watch for loiterers and do not carry large sums of money. 3. If possible, travel with another person. This is especially true after dark.
  3. When carrying a purse, women should have only 3 or 4 one dollar bills placed inside. Credit cards, currency, driver's license, keys and jewelry should be carried in a coat or sweater pocket or concealed on your person to reduce the opportunity of large losses. If you do carry a purse, don't wrap the strap around your shoulder, neck or wrist. If your purse is grabbed, a strong strap will not yield easily and you may be injured. Some purse snatch victims have been thrown off balance and received concussions, broken hips, arms or legs. Don't carry anything more valuable than you can afford to lose. Always leave all unnecessary credit cards at home. When you shop and carry a purse, put it in your shopping bag.
  4. At night, travel only well-lighted and well-traveled streets.
  5. Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
  6. Walk on the side of the street nearest to oncoming traffic. If accosted by someone in a car, run in the direction opposite the way the car is headed.
  7. Beware of people who approach asking directions; keep a polite but safe distance.
  8. A good suggestions for men is to carry a second wallet containing a few $1 bills and old expired credit cards, which are normally destroyed or discarded. If confronted at knife or gunpoint, give the suspect the second wallet and concentrate on a good physical description to help the police in making the arrest.
  9. Upon returning home, particularly after dark, do not linger at the entrance of your residence. Make a quick check for mail or newspapers, and enter immediately. If you feel something is strange, don't enter but go elsewhere and call for police assistance.
  10. If you feel someone is following you, go to the nearest occupied residence or building, and ask for assistance.
  11. If you are confronted with a dangerous situation, cry out for assistance. Yelling "Fire! Fire!" instead of "Help!" will generally bring faster attention.

Safety on Public Transportation

  1. While waiting for a bus or streetcar, stand near others who are also waiting.
  2. If the immediate area is deserted or in darkness, stand near an occupied building on in a lighted area until transportation arrives.
  3. Once on a bus or streetcar, be aware of those around you. If someone looks or acts suspicious, notify the driver.
  4. If the coach is empty or nearly empty, sit as far up front and as close to the driver as possible.
  5. If someone begins to bother you, get up and notify the driver immediately.
  6. Upon arriving at your stop, be aware of those who alight with you. If you feel you are being followed, go to the nearest occupied building and ask for assistance.
  7. After dark, attempt to get off the bus in well-lighted areas. Use only well-lighted streets to reach your final destination.

Elevator Safety

  1. Observe elevator interior before entering. Wait until the next elevator if you are uncertain of any occupant.
  2. Females riding the elevator alone should always stand near the control panel. If accosted, press ALL buttons.
  3. If a suspicious person enters the elevator, exit before the door closes.
  4. Before exiting from the elevator, observe the corridor for suspicious activity.