Important tips for city safety. There are many great things about visiting or living in a city. Large metropolitan areas are buzzing with energy and excitement. In a big city you are surrounded by endless sources of entertainment, culture, activity, stimulation and diversity. Cities have a lot to offer and tons of amazing features that make them a great place to live or visit. But with all of the hustle and bustle also comes crime and safety issues. By taking precautions and heightening your awareness, you can better protect yourself from potential dangerous situations.
Although, crime rates in America have dropped steadily in the last 20 years, the FBI’s 2016 annual report on national crime statistics showed there were an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes and an estimated 7,919,035 property crimes in the U.S. The 2016 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 386.3 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated rate of property crime was 2,450.7 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate rose 3.4 percent compared with the 2015 rate, and the property crime rate declined 2.0 percent.
For many living or visiting Boston, it may feel like a big town. Boston is still a city even with its charming neighborhoods, walk-ability and hometown feel. In fact, the city proper covers 48 square miles with an estimated population of 687,584 in 2017. According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI reported crime data, the chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Boston is 1 in 33. Boston is considered a relatively safe city, but as with any major city, you should take the usual safety precautions (which we will cover!).
At Schulze Law we believe the best way to avoid becoming a victim of crime is to be proactive in regard to taking safety measures. These safety tips are designed to help keep you and your loved ones informed as to how you can decrease your chances of being a victim of a crime. Please call 9-1-1 if you’ve been a victim of a crime and contact Schulze law with any questions or legal issues.
- Know Where You Are Going
Familiarize yourself with the city: When you’re comfortable with where you’re going and what you’re doing, you’re better prepared for everything. Today, with smartphones, GPS and apps, you can stay aware of your location and destination very easily. Although there is a time and a place for spontaneous fun and adventures, be careful when you hit the city streets. There can be a lot going on and a ton of people around so don’t get swept away in the sea of city chaos.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
The goal of being aware of your surroundings is to prevent or avoid a dangerous situation from occurring or escalating. Keeping your eyes and ears open decreases the element of surprise and increases the level of preparedness. Situational awareness is key in crime prevention in urban environments. It’s all about being aware of your surroundings at all times, and aware of the situations that may be happening around you. Pay attention peeps!
- Don’t Be an Easy Target
It can take only seconds for a criminal to identify their next target. According to research, criminals often assess the ease with which they could overpower the targets based on several nonverbal signals—posture, body language, pace of walking, length of stride, and awareness of environment. Your demeanor could determine if you’re a bulls-eye.
- Use Common Sense and Trust Your Gut
We can make smart decisions when we trust our instincts. We are often faced with intuitions that appear to provide the answers to questions all around us. Something or someone seem sketchy or shady? Your gut instinct is probably right. Always stray on the side of caution if a street seems dangerous, a person makes you uncomfortable or something just doesn’t feel “right.” Street smarts and common sense can save you.
- No Headphones and Don’t Be On Your Phone
Never walk with your headphones on or talking on the phone. This is clearly a tough one with our devices at our fingertips. Try to avoid the temptation to crank your favorite tunes, chat on the phone, text or scroll through social media. Avoid doing anything that makes you seem distracted or takes your attention away from your immediate surroundings.
- Be Careful At Night
Be extra cautious when out in a city a night. The darkness and late night activities can attract crime so be on high alert. The nightlife can be extremely fun but don’t let it turn frightening. According to The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, crime happens at all times of the day and night, though particular crimes exhibit different patterns.
- Keep Tabs On Your Stuff
Leave the valuables at home. Hold your wallet in your front pocket and your purse or bag zipped up and in front of your or right by your side. Don’t flaunt anything like jewelry, money, phones, cameras or anything you want to keep! The front pockets of your pants or jackets are the safest places for your valuables, as they are not so easily accessed by a thief. Items are also less likely to fall out.
- Learn Self Defense
Being confident goes a long way in helping you defend yourself. One way to gain that confidence is by getting formal self-defense training. During an attack, you may not remember everything you learned in a self-defense class, but it can still help you become more prepared and more aware of how to survive. Plus, the confidence you may acquire may turn off an attacker or criminal in and of itself!
- Plan Transportation Methods Wisely
Have a plan on how you’re going to navigate and get around the city streets. Some areas may be more quiet or busier at certain times of the day and you should consider this when planning your transportation method. Are you walking, biking, taking a rideshare or public transportation? Make good choices depending on the situation!
- Stranger Danger
In the U.S., it depends on what part of country you are in but Southern cities are generally friendlier towards strangers than Northern cities are. If you combine all the tips above like gut instinct, your surroundings, time of day, etc. you can make an educated decision on your interaction with others. It is possible to be cautious and friendly but err on the side of safety when dealing with strangers.
Bonus Tip: Always Stay Alert!
Urban environments have a lot of action going on and the more alert you are, the more likely you will avoid potentially dangerous situations. If you see something, say something!
Remember, acts of crime can happen anywhere at any time. Our intent is to remind everyone to be diligent about their safety at all times. It’s a popular time for vacations and now that the weather is warming up, people are coming out of hibernation mode. Please enjoy all the gloriousness the city has to offer, SAFELY!
For any crime related questions, arrests or inquires, CALL SCHULZE LAW.