Street Safety Tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts. If you think you are in an area you should not be, you probably are.
- Know where you're going and the safest way to get there, particularly when moving about the city during hours of darkness. Walk/run in well-traveled, well-lit areas avoiding short cuts through alleys and parking lots.
- Have a plan of action in mind. Decide where you would go and what you would do should some dangerous situation occur. Know where the nearest police/fire station is located, how to contact the police in the event of an emergency, what establishments are open late where you could seek refuge if needed, etc.
- Walk with confidence on the street and at a good, steady pace. Keep your head up, observe your surroundings, and don't look down at the ground.
- Carry a whistle or similar type of noisemaker. In the event of an emergency, the sound may scare off a would-be attacker.
- Take special care when jogging or biking. Vary your route, go with a friend, and avoid isolated areas.
- Do NOT wear headphones or listen to music. These can distract you from being aware of your surroundings and who may be approaching you.
- Keep purses and packages tucked securely between your arms and body. Don't overload yourself with packages and bags – it is distracting and it can make you look defenseless.
- Carry only what you need. Don't carry a large amount of cash or numerous credit cards and avoid wearing flashy and excessive amounts of jewelry.
- Exercise caution when using ATM machines. Only use ATMs located in well lit, well trafficked areas those physically located in stores are the safest.
If You are Being Followed:
- Show you are suspicious and turn to look at the person. It sends a clear message that you will not be taken by surprise.
- Change directions. If someone is following you on foot, cross the street and vary your pace. If the person following you is in a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction.
- Go into the nearest store or public place. If the person follows you, ask to use (or find) a phone and call for help. If there isn't a store or public area nearby, keep moving. If you have to scream (or blow your whistle) to draw attention to your situation, do it.
If You are Robbed:
- DO NOT RESIST, especially if you know or believe the robber to be armed. The best course of action is to hand over money and whatever other belongings are demanded as quickly as possible and try to disengage from this confrontational, and potentially dangerous. Remember, belongings can always be replaced, but you cannot.
- Try to remain calm. Note the robber's appearance and report the crime immediately to the police.
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Cambridge Police Department
Acting Police Commissioner
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