Before getting into this article let me first give you a brief on who I am. I am a former Police Officer of over 14 years. I am also author of book Crime Awareness 101. Throughout my career as a police officer I discovered that for most part criminal activity is not all that unique. I saw same crimes happen over and over again; and, I saw victims of these crimes make same mistakes over and over again. Criminals look for same opportunities as they always have, and victimize people same way. Why do they constantly get away with it? Well because we allow them too. How do we do that? We don't learn anything about criminal activity, until it is too late. We tend to believe same common misconception.
It won't happen to me
This type of thinking is exactly what criminal wants you to think. Why; because this type of thinking keeps you off guard. It is kind of like a salesman. Who is a salesmen's best friend? It is an uneducated consumer. So, who is a criminal's best friend? It is an uneducated victim. To keep yourself safe from crime (or at least lesson your odds) you need to learn about crime. What do you need to learn?
Well for starters you should know that most criminals look for easy opportunities. They want to get in and out as fast as they can or, take their victim somewhere isolated or hidden and do whatever they have planned. Understanding this concept is a key point to keeping you safe. If criminal wants an easy target, then your objective is to be a hard target. The harder target you are more likely criminal will move on to someone else more vulnerable. You need to understand that you will not stop criminal activity know one can. However, you can make yourself a hard enough target that they will move on.
How do you make yourself a hard target? Well one of key steps is to follow as many practical preventative measures as you can. The more things you do to prevent crime safer you will become. What are practical preventative measures? They preventative measures that most people can do without a major disruption in their lifestyle or major expense. Below is a short list.
- Lock your car doors.
- Don't leave items of value in your car that can be easily seen.
- Get deadbolt locks for your house, and use them. (See my article "Tips for keeping you home invasion free")
- Be aware of what's going on around you.
- Shred or burn any financial statements you would normally throw away.
- Itemize property in your home. (See my article "The importance of documenting your property")
- Park in well lit areas.
- Do not flash a lot of money or expensive jewelry.
- Do not leave outgoing bills in your unlocked mailbox for postman to pick up.
- Try not to wear clothing that is too restrictive.
This is just a short list taken from various crimes; in my book I list over 150 preventative and safety tips, from various crimes and criminal activity.  Now I know what you are saying "That's just a bunch of common sense things that don't mean anything."  That statement couldn't be further from truth.  These preventative tips weren't just dreamed up because someone had nothing to do.  Tips like these are a result of thousands of crimes that have been committed and what could have been done to prevent them.  Disregarding tips like these is a big step in direction of becoming a criminal's best friend "the uneducated victim."