Holiday season safety tips from the Seattle Police Department
Around the holiday season, when more and more people are out and about- we often see an increase in person crime, specifically purse snatching and street robbery. In an effort to prevent these types of incidents, the SW Precinct would like to provide our community with the following personal safety and robbery prevention suggestions, specifically as it related to holiday shopping and holiday activities.
Remember to always call 911 to report suspicious activity or crimes in progress!
Language lines for interpretations are available.
General Safety Tips
-Keep your head up and scan your surroundings, avoid ‘auto pilot’. Make eye contact with others so they are aware that you see them. This sends a message that you know they are there, and that you can also identify them if necessary. Walk confidently, project an assertive, confident image.
-Use common sense- plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways. Stick to well-lit areas as much as possible.
-Develop a plan before you see trouble- crossing the street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
-If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking- do not approach it, instead turn around and walk quickly in the opposite direction.
-If you are being followed, or you see a person or group that makes you feel uncomfortable, give yourself permission to act, cross the street, walk in another direction, go into a business or ask other people walking if you may walk with them.
-Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
-Carry minimal items- overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
Safety on the Street
-Be cautious when carrying valuables (including holiday presents, shopping bags, jewelry, money or electronic devices)- keep hidden and/or secured- always keep positive control over your items.
-When using an ATM- choose one located in a well-lit, busy area- like inside a grocery store and always put away your cash and card before leaving. Never display large sums of cash and don’t carry more cash than is necessary.
-Carry your purse very close to your body (preferably with a strap across your body if possible). Avoid walking alone at night.
-Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
-If you are wearing headphones, make sure you are still able to hear outside noise.
Responding to a Confrontation
-If a robber grabs your bag/purse- resist the urge to play tug-of-war. If you hang on chances are- you will be knocked down and further assaulted.
-If someone demands your property and displays or implies in any way that they have a weapon, don’t resist. Your physical property isn’t worth getting injured or killed over.
-Don’t purse the thief, put distance between you and the thief.
Spot and Avoid Potential Trouble
-Be aware of your surroundings and know who is nearby.
-Pay attention to the uncomfortable feelings that often warn us of potential danger. Trust your instincts!