Since we provide online safety training to tenants and residents of buildings, most of our blog posts relate to preparing for natural and man-made large-scale disasters. But our commitment to our clients’ safety extends beyond their well being while they are working or living in high rise structures. So we wanted to devote a post to personal security.
Is it possible to prepare yourself to deal with attempted assault and battery? Can you be sure you remain safe at all times? Should you take steps to make sure you’re prepared? Or is it enough to depend on uniformed police officers and canine units to step in on your behalf?
Here are a few startling statistics about crime in the United States:
- Approximately 12 million violent crimes are committed in the United States every single year.
- The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
- According to the most recent data available on the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics’website, in the United States in 2009, more than 307,000 people were victims of a violent crime:
- 88,000 forcibly raped
- 15,000 victims of murder or non-negligent manslaughter
- 408,000 robbed
- 807,000 assaulted
- The city of Detroit, Michigan is just one alarming example of how violent crime is thriving. So far this year in Detroit, car thefts are up 83%, robberies are up 50%, burglaries are up 20% and property destruction is up 42%. My advice to Michigan residents is to buy a watch dog. Just a suggestion…
- Gang violence is rampant. USA Today reports that criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated one million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation.
- One in four women in America will be raped. The FBI reports that only one in four rapes is recorded in the Uniform Crime Reports. And those reports do not include rapes that end in death, since those are reported as homicides.
In light of these statistics, is it sufficient to expect law enforcement to step in to ensure your personal safety? Consider the fact that there are approximately 800,000 police officers in the nation. And there are even fewer police dogs. Since there are some 312 million people in America, the ratio of law enforcement to citizens is 1 to 40. While they do their best to serve and protect, cops are not omnipresent. So, it’s imperative that you do your part to BE SAFE:
- BE aware. When you’re walking to your car or a building, make sure you remain alert and aware of your surroundings. Is anyone following you? Does anything appear suspicious? In the same way you were taught to drive defensively, constantly monitor your surroundings so you remain on your guard against potential attacks.
- BE careful. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If you walk by yourself in a dark alley at night or in a low-lit unsecured parking structure, you are inviting criminals to strike. If you walk at night, take your dog with you. We love to stretch our legs and often discourage attackers.
- BE prepared. Whether you take a kick-boxing, martial arts or self-defense class, take steps to arm yourself with tools to fight off potential attackers. I have never taken a kick boxing class. But I think I could scare away criminals because my bark is not worse than my bite!
- BE heard. If you suspect that someone is following you, make noise. In fact, don’t be afraid to scream. If you are loud, you might thwart criminals who will move on to other less vocal targets of opportunity. Or you could always bark because thieves don’t like messing with crazy people.
- BE wise. Don’t venture outside alone at night. Don’t stop by the side of the road to assist a stranded motorist if you’re by yourself. Don’t carry lots of cash or leave your purse or wallet open or sport a diamond-encrusted collar while walking the streets of New York.
When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW RJWestmore Property Messaging System is included FREE for all RJWestmore Online Training System users. Visit www.RJWestmore.com for more information.