You can prevent crime by being aware of your environment and remaining alert to situations that make you vulnerable. The following are just a few examples of how you can do this in your daily life.
- If at all possible, never walk alone.
- If you cannot find someone to walk with you, contact the Department of Public Safety and Police at 410-777-1818 for an escort.
- If you absolutely have to walk alone, walk on well-lighted, well-traveled walkways and plan your route ahead of time. Avoid places where attackers might hide (spaces between parked cars, overgrown shrubs, and dark passageways) and areas where you might get cornered. Remember that it is best to walk facing traffic.
- If anyone follows you, look confident and let him or her know you are aware of their presence. Don't be polite or engage in conversation.
- If they continue to follow you, cross the street and/or change directions.
- If this doesn't work, walk toward other people or occupied buildings and stay away from places where you might get cornered.
- If someone in a car follows you and is persistent or becomes obscene, write down the license number and report it to the Department of Public Safety and Police as soon as possible.
- If someone follows you and is persistent or becomes obscene, write down the license number and report it to the appropriate police agency or the Department of Public Safety and Police as soon as possible.
- If you are trapped in your car, honk your horn in quick short bursts. This will attract people's attention.
- Make sure that all of the car doors are locked whenever you leave your vehicle.
- When returning to your car, have your keys ready so you can enter your car quickly and be aware of your surroundings. If you have to look into a purse or a pocket to find them, it takes extra time and you lose sight of what is around you, which could allow someone to sneak up on you.
- As you approach your car, look underneath to make sure no one is hiding there. Before you enter your car look to see if all of the doors are locked or if there are any uninvited passengers in the back seat or on the floor. If your door locks are not the way you left them or you see someone inside, leave the area as quickly as possible and notify the Department of Public Safety and Police.
- Don't pick up hitchhikers.
On Buses and Subways
- Use well-lit, busy stops.
- Stay alert! Don't doze or daydream.
- Let someone know where you will be working an when you anticipate returning home. Make sure your family and friends know the work number where you can be reached. Call when you reach your workstation and once again just before leaving to go home.
- Carry a portable, battery-powered high decibel alarm device or a loud whistle.
- Carry a small pocket flashlight in your purse or on a key ring, and try to park in well lighted areas and walk along lit walkways.
- Carry your keys and access cards in your hand when you are approaching the appropriate doors, keeping them readily available. Make sure locked doors close and lock behind you.
- Keep your workstation or office locked after hours.
- When returning to your vehicle, watch for suspicious persons nearby and have your keys in your hand. Check the interior of your vehicle before getting in.
Protecting Your Property
Preventing Thefts from Vehicles
- Install a vehicle alarm or mechanical lock for the steering wheel or ignition.
- Always lock the doors and leave the windows rolled up.
- Always activate any auto alarms or anti-theft devices.
- Keep books, electronics, and other valuables out of sight. Expensive items in full view invite theft even if the vehicle is locked. Don't advertise the types of equipment you have in your vehicle.
- Place valuable items in your trunk not the front or back seats.
- Know the license number, year, make and model of your vehicle.
- Do not leave money, checkbooks, or credit cards in the vehicle at any time.
Preventing Bicycle Theft
- Keep bicycles locked any time they are unattended with a good "U" type lock. Second choice would be a good casehardened padlock and cable. Be sure the "U" lock or cable goes through the front wheel, rear wheel and the frame, and secure it to a fixed object.
- Check the lock by pulling on it to make sure it is secure.
- Use an engraver to place an identifying mark on unpainted major bicycle components.
- Be sure to retain all evidence of purchase, including the serial number.
- Be able to identify the bicycle.. not only by its color, but also by its features.
- Have one or more close up color photographs of the bicycle on hand.
- Register the bicycle in the Department of Public Safety and Police or County Police registration program.
- Never loan your bicycle or other property to strangers.
- Try to avoid parking a bicycle in a deserted or poorly lit area.
Preventing Thefts from Offices
- Don't become complacent. Be aware! Be attentive.
- Don't showcase your office.
- Close and lock your office when it is not occupied. It only takes seconds for a thief to notice an unoccupied office, walk in and put something in a book bag.
- Lock your desk, file cabinet, locker, etc.
- Don't leave your purse in that last or bottom drawer of your desk (thieves know it's there).
If You are a Victim or Witness a Crime
If you see or suspect a crime is being committed on campus, pay particular attention to the features of the offender(s) and any vehicles involved. Try to be prepared to provide at least the following about the offenders:
- Age, race, height, and weight.
- Hair color and style, beard and mustache.
- Notable characteristics (acne, scars, glasses mental state, etc.).
- Clothing description.
- Location where last seen.
- Last known direction of travel.
- Vehicle description and distinctive markings.
Witnesses who wish to remain anonymous may do so. It is more important that a response be dispatched as quickly as possible.
Learn more about Sexual Harassment and Assault.
Reporting a Crime or Emergency
An important responsibility of a victim or witness of a crime or other emergency is timely reporting to the appropriate authorities. The Department of Public Safety and Police has well trained officers on duty 24 hours a day. These officers are prepared to deal with incidents on campus.
You can report an incident by calling DPSP at ext.1818 from a campus phone or 410-777-1818. When doing so, attempt to provide as much detail as possible about the situation, including at least the following:
- Your name.
- Your location and telephone number where you can be reached.
- The nature of the problem you are reporting.
When reporting a crime by telephone, remain on the phone until the communications officer is fully briefed with all the information necessary to dispatch the appropriate response personnel to the scene.