Tips for Preventing Robberies


Anyone can be a victim, but since criminals are looking for easy targets such as an open window or an unlocked car, reducing these opportunities really does prevent crime. If your are alert to your surroundings, you can often identify a potential assailant simply by paying attention to the people around you. As you increase your awareness, and help others to become more responsible for their own safety, you will be working in partnership with the Ottawa Police Service to prevent crime –partnership in action.


Protect yourself:

-Try not to walk alone at night but if you do, be alert and avoid dark or isolated areas. Instead, walk out in the open, away from walls, alleys, doorways, and pillars.

-Determine the safest route before you leave

-Tell friends or family where you are going, and then let them know when U reach your destination

-Have your key ready as you approach your house or vehicle

-Trust your instincts. Don’t enter environments where you feel unsafe.

-Know your physical capabilities and limitations

-Don’t carry offensive weapons such as knives. They may be used against you.


If you suspect you are being followed:

-Cross the street or walk on the side of the road

-Go immediately to the nearest well-lit area or populated area.

-If others are within hearing distance, turn to the person following you and say in a loud and assertive voice:”Stop Following Me”

-Contact police immediately – go to a house or a store and call the police or flag down a taxi and ask the driver to call the police for you

-If the person following you is driving a car, take out a pen and paper, look at the license plate and write the numbers down, make sure that the driver sees you do this.


If you are attacked:

-Try to remember the complexion, body build, height, weight, age and type of clothing worn by the attacker. If possible, write down the information while it is fresh in your memory.

-If an attacker is after your purse or other valuables, don’t resist. If you have the opportunity, throw your purse away from you to distance the attacker from you.


Protect yourself in your vehicle:

-Never pick up hitchhikers or stop to offer help to unknown, stranded motorists. If you see such a motorist in distress, report the location to the police from the nearest telephone

-If you have car trouble on the highway, raise the hood – this will bring official assistance such as the police or towing company. If a stranger stops to assist you, use caution. If your are concerned, get back in the car,. Speak through a slightly opened window and ask the person to get assistance for you.

-Don’t travel with less than half a tank of gasoline and make sure your car is in good working condition to avoid being stranded in an unsafe place.

-Always lock your car when you leave it

-Always have your keys ready as you approach your vehicle

-Before entering your vehicle, always look inside first

-Always try to park in a well lit location


Protect your children:

-Never leave your child alone in a public place, whether in a stroller or a car.

-Always accompany your child to the bathroom in a public place

-Get to know your babysitters and your child’s older friends before leaving them alone with your child

-Make a list of emergency telephone numbers. Place the list where it is easily accessible to the entire family, preferably near the telephone.

-Prepare a written emergency safety plan and ensure that all family members understand it by practicing the plan from time to time. Once a month, check that safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and alarms are working


Teach your children:

-to recite their own name, age, telephone number, area code, address, city and province

-to carry identification

-how to phone long distance by dialing direct or with operator assistance

-how to reach you in an emergency

-how to reach the police, fire, ambulance, family doctor, relatives and neighbors

-to tell you where they will be at all times

-never to say they are alone if they answer the door

-never to invite strangers into your home

-not to enter anyone’s home without permission

-not to accept gift from strangers

-Never to hitchhike, and never to approach or enter a strangers car

-that they have permission to say “NO” to an adult

-to say loudly to a stranger “You are not my mother or my father”

-that no one has the right to touch any part of their body that a bathing suit would cover

-to tell you if someone has asked them to keep a secret from you

-never to play in deserted buildings or isolated areas, or to take shortcuts through empty parks or fields

-to tell you, school authorities or a police officer, if anyone exposes their private parts to them

-to view police officers as friends they can rely on if they are in trouble

-that they can talk to you and that you are interested and sensitive to their fears


Protect your home:

-Install good locks on doors and windows. Keep doors locked at all times, even when you are at home.

-ensure you have a door viewer on solid doors, as well as a safety chain

-leave exterior lights on to deter potential intruders. Leave interior lights on a timer while you are away.

-If your return home and suspect someone is inside, don’t enter or call out. Phone the police immediately

-Don’t leave keys in obvious places.

-use first initials only on mail boxes, apartment directories or the phone book

-Get to know your neighbors

-Ask a neighbor to look after your property while you are away

-Become an active member of a Neighbourhood Watch program

-Be very selective about letting admitting strangers into your home. Ask for Identification

Remember to report crimes or suspicious activities in your neighborhood to police.

Make the Right call!

Stop crime in its tracks! Crime Stoppers gather clues that the police need to solve major crimes. If you have knowledge or clues about a crime, call:

233-TIPS or 1-800-222-TIPS



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