Personal Safety

Although burglary and theft leave emotional and financial effects, violent crimes such as homicide, rape, assault, and robbery have a much greater impact on our life-style and our feelings about our vulnerability. Our inherent fear of a violent confrontation causes most of us to make everyday decisions based on our personal safety. "Is this a safe neighborhood?" or "Is it safe to take a walk at night?" are frequent questions that reflect a concern controlling our behavior. How can we minimize our fear of violent crime? What steps can be taken to actually reduce our vulnerability to crimes such as street robbery? The following will shed some light on these questions.

Personal Safety Tips

At Home

  • Have your key in hand when approaching the entryway
  • Wait outside if anything looks unusual (i.e. open door or broken window)
  • Give the hide-a-key to a trusted neighbor
  • No personal identification on key rings
  • Change the locks if you lose your house key


  • Avoid walking alone. Be confident & walk with purpose
  • Choose busy, well-lit streets and avoid isolated areas, alleys and vacant lots
  • Walk facing traffic to see approaching cars
  • Earphones make you less able to sense potential danger
  • Keep valuables in an inside pocket and hold your purse under your arm so they are harder to snatch


  • Keep your car in good running order
  • Plan your route in advance
  • Drive with the doors locked and windows rolled up
  • Carpooling is a safe alternative to driving alone
  • Don’t stop if another driver tries to force you off the road


  • Choose well-lit parking areas
  • Keep valuables and packages locked in the trunk
  • Always remove the keys and lock the doors
  • Be alert in underground or enclosed parking garages

Returning To Your Car

  • Have your keys ready before getting to your car
  • Be aware of occupied cars around you
  • If you carry packages, keep one hand free
  • Check inside and around your car before unlocking the door

Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s)

  • Memorize your personal identification number
  • Have everything ready before arriving
  • Be aware of people loitering and sitting in parked cars who may be watching customers transact business
  • Never use an ATM after dark

At Work

  • Get involved with improving work place security
  • Walk to and from the parking areas with other people
  • Avoid using the isolated and deserted stairways
  • If a suspicious person follows you into or is already in an elevator, get out immediately
  • Check restrooms before locking the door

Outdoor Activities

  • Advise someone of your routine before leaving
  • Carry proper identification
  • Vary your route and schedule so you are not predictable
  • Avoid outdoor activities after dark
  • Carry the necessary tools in case of an emergency
  • Carry a personal alarm

If You Are a Victim

Some confrontations are unavoidable. When you consider that 4 out of 10 violent crime victimization by strangers involve an armed offender, it's vital that you be prepared to minimize your risk of injury. Be willing to give up your valuables. A purse, wallet or jewelry is not worth fighting for when facing someone wielding a weapon. Carry only as much cash, as you need. If confronted, try to stay calm. An assailant will be less likely to attack you if you appear controlled and self-confident. Try to mentally note your assailant's appearance without staring. Use physical self- defense techniques only as a last resort to protect yourself when attacked. Go to the phone and dial 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Let the police operator take charge and instruct you. Remember, your quick actions in notifying the police will increase their chance of apprehending the suspect and preventing future victims.

Victim/Victim Assistance

Being the victim of a violent crime can have lasting emotional effects. If you are a victim, don't suppress your feelings of anger or frustration. If you are the friend or relative of a victim, lend your emotional support by being available to listen.

There are a number of agencies that provide support to victims of violent crime. The Wayne Police Department has a listing of the local agencies. For more information, call the Wayne Police Department at 375-2626.