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    St. Vincent

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Crime Prevention Tips


Tips for Business Owners

• Keep products such as broad tipped markers and spray paints from being easily accessed by youths. Stock them in an area that will be less tempting for shoplifting. Don’t sell these types of products to people under the age of 18. This helps cut down on the amount of graffiti and vandalism in the community.
• For safety and security purposes, it’s recommended that business owners keep a percentage of their windows clear. This promotes better visibility.
• Maintain good lighting inside the store and in the parking area.
• If finances are available, install video surveillance, along with recording capabilities. This aids law enforcement in an investigation if you are a victim of a crime. It’s also recommended to install a basic alarm system as well.
• Businesses should post clearly marked signs for “No Loitering” which should be strictly enforced.
• If you fall victim to crime, just try to be the best witness you can be. Don’t do anything heroic in a hostile situation. Contact the police immediately. If the suspect(s) flee, don’t touch any areas that the suspect may have touched and don’t authorize any other customers to enter the establishment afterwards until authorized by the police.
• Only keep minimal amount of money in the registers that is needed to properly run the business for the day. Any extra money should be secured in a secure vault that’s out of view and that is bolted or secured to a permanent fixture in the business.
• Report any suspicious activity, any suspicious people and vehicles to the police. You may have information that may be helpful to the police and other business owners. If there is any activity that you need to be made aware of, there is a business e-mail tree currently in effect. Contact the Ansonia Police Dept. for more information regarding the e-mail tree system.
• Make sure that you are checking identification for the sale of all alcohol, tobacco and lottery products.
• Keep video surveillance monitor out of view of the public that enters the store. You don’t want to advertise what your cameras are able to record and what they cannot. Always make sure your video equipment is functioning properly and is always recording.
• Another valuable feature regarding an alarm system, especially if it’s a fairly large business, is pocket size panic buttons. They work as a silent alarm just as if you were activating it from behind a counter, but it stays with you while you’re out on the floor of your business.
• For businesses that sell high end products such as jewelry, it’s a good practice to request ID for those who ask to handle expensive merchandise over a specific amount, so that this may avoid an incident where an individual asks for a closer look at a particular item and then flees the store with the product.

Robbery Prevention tips for Businesses

Be Observant! Employees and employers should remain alert and observant.

-Things to watch for:

-Suspicious persons or vehicles around the business, especially
at opening and closing time.

-People wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather, such as
heavy coats during warm weather.

-Try to have at least 2 employees open/close the business, especially if it is in hours of darkness.

-Try to use the most visible entrance to the business and avoid
back/secluded entrances when opening/closing the business.

Robbery prevention 'To Do' List

-Have a plan.
-Have regular safety meetings to develop and discuss your "plan".
-Some of the elements of a good plan include:
- Employee demeanor during a robbery (do not resist)
- How to notify the police
- An escape route
- How to obtain a suspect description
- How to obtain a vehicle description and license plate number
- Have prearranged signals between employees
- How to activate alarms
- When not to activate an alarm
- Mentally review as often as possible the actions you must perform if confronted with an emergency. The plan should become "second nature" to you.
Physical Deterrents

-Always keep the inside of your business well lit, especially the
entrances and exits.

-The cash register should be visible from outside the store. A clear view to the register from the street or parking lot assists police officers to see inside as they patrol the area. If the windows are blocked they can not see in.

-Mark the edge of the main doorway with measuring tape. This will help in obtaining a more accurate height of the robber.

-Keep cash at a minimum, and post notices in the doorway of this fact.

-Periodically test video surveillance equipment to verify it is in proper working order.

-Consider the installation of video cameras or alarm systems.

Bank Deposit Procedures

-Do not advertise that you are carrying the bank deposit.
-Avoid wearing name tags or clothing advertising your business when you are carrying the deposit.

-Make deposits during the daylight hours.

-Go directly to the bank. Do not make other stops along the way. Do not take the same route to the bank each time you go and do not go at the same time each day.

-Stay alert to your surroundings

-Vary times of cash deposits/withdrawals
-Vary routes if possible

-Try not to carry cash out of your business alone

-Try to carry cash out of your business during daylight hours

-Do not carry a personal bag, backpack, purse or other items while carrying large sums of cash

-Disguise your cash bag. Put your bank-issued bag inside a nondescript backpack, paper sack, etc.

-Do not carry cash in the same bag with other important items
(business documents, checks, receipts, etc)

-Consider carrying a duplicate ìdummyî bag that looks identical in size, shape and weight to your cash bag

-Consider keeping rolls of coins separate from large bills

-Carry a working cell phone with you. Keep it on and be ready to call police if necessary.

-If possible, go with another person
Stay alert and trust your instincts.

-If you see suspicious people loitering near you or your automobile do not approach or confront them. Report any suspicious activity to the police.

-If you are driving: park as close to the bank as possible. Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up. Keep your keys handy so you can enter your car as quickly as possible after you are done at the bank.

More Tips

-Keep the telephone number of your police department near the
phone. (911 for an emergency, 255-2345 OR 266-4275 for nonemergency.)

-Be aware that sometimes merchants are followed back to their
businesses or to their homes by robbers. Certain safety precautions should be followed regarding vehicles and home safety. Do not always travel the same routes to and from work. Be observant and check often to see if you are followed.

-Know where police stations and fire stations are in your area. These locations are places of safety should you suspect that you are being followed.

-Write down the license plate number of any suspicious vehicles. It is
better to throw it away because you don't need it, than to wish you
had it.

Business Robbery Tips / During the Robbery


-Do not try to be a hero. Take no action that would jeopardize your
own safety.

-Follow the robber's directions, but do not volunteer more than he
asks for.

-Advise the robber of any unusual moves you must make. Assure him
you will cooperate.

-If the robber used a hold-up note, try to retain it, and handle it as
little as possible.

-If possible, activate the alarm only if you can do so safely without

-Attempt to alert other employees by use of prearranged signals, but only if safe to do so.

-MAKE MENTAL NOTES -- Make a mental note of the robber's race,
age, height sex, clothing, complexion, color of hair and eyes, etc. Note anything unusual about the robber, such as scars or tattoos.

-Note the number of accomplices and how they left the premises, direction of travel, type and color of the car and the license number.

-Note type, size and color of the weapon.

-Watch where the robber puts his/her hands or whether he/she
touches anything. Fingerprints might be left behind.

Business Robbery Tips - After the Robbery

-Call the police immediately after the robbery. The person who calls the police should be able to stay on the phone if the dispatcher requests that he do so.

-Lock all doors and ask all witnesses to remain until the officers arrive. If a witness must leave, obtain his or her name, address and telephone number.

-All witnesses should write down a description of all the suspects. Do not discuss the robbery or compare notes about the robber's appearance with anyone.

-Protect the crime scene. Do not touch anything.

-If your were given a note by the robber, handle it carefully. Hold it by the edges so that any fingerprints that may be on the paper will not be smeared. Put it in a safe place and keep it for the police. This is an important piece of evidence.

Preventing Crime and Injury

In the Home

Statistics show that most home burglaries occur during the day. To protect your home or business from
burglary and damage, there are several things you can do.
Keep the burglars out
Make it harder for a burglar to enter your home by taking some simple actions. Most of the time if the burglar can’t see an easy way in, they won’t try.
  • Make sure that all of your entrance doors are solid and cannot be easily broken into
  •  Lock your doors and windows and ensure that all locks are of good quality.
  • Make sure that all of your entrance doors are solid and cannot be easily broken into.
  •  Use a piece of dowel or another stopping mechanism to prevent burglars opening sliding doors and
  • windows if they do force open the lock.
  • Keep sliding doors and window rollers in good condition and properly adjusted. For extra safety install an anti-lift device, such as a pin, through the sliding and fixed parts of doors.
  • Place stickers and signs around your home to warn burglars of an alarm system, dog or neighbourhood watch program.
  • Make sure someone walking along an alley can’t see directly into your house. Alleyways canprovide easy, unseen access onto your property that thieves will use if they can see valuables.
Be a good neighbour
By getting to know your neighbours and keeping an eye out, you can help prevent crime in your area and improve the chances of burglars being caught in the act.
  • Get to know your adjacent neighbours. You could even hold a street party!
  • Invite neighbours into your home and establish trust.
  • Watch out for each other’s homes, including collecting a neighbour’s mail when they’re away (only with their permission, of course).
  • If you notice suspicious activity at a neighbouring house, give the owners a call to let them know in case something is wrong.
Improve your lighting
Good lighting practices in and around your home can make all the difference. A sudden bright light
might make a burglar think twice.
  • Use light timers to show a pattern of occupancy. Leaving a light on for the entire time you’re away can be a big hint to burglars. Timers will also reduce your electricity bill and environmental impact.
  • Use motion sensor lights in your backyard and near where you park your car.
  • Keep good lighting along the path to your door. You can also use a timer or motion sensor.
Use alarm systems in the right way
Having an alarm at your home can help keep you safe by deterring burglars, frightening them off, or
helping to catch them.
  • Make sure there are clear and obvious signs warning burglars of your alarm system. Place them near all common entry points, e.g. front and back doors, the carport and any windows hidden from view from the road. Your alarm system can only deter burglars who know about it.
  • Make sure that your alarm system works. It should be properly installed, programmed and maintained and tested occasionally.
  • Make sure your alarm system is audible. You want the burglar to know it’s only a matter of time until they’re caught.
  • Have your alarm reset after one or two minutes and tell your neighbours it does so. This will stop the alarm from keeping your neighbours awake, unless there’s still someone on your property.
  • Tell your neighbours what to do if an alarm does sound. A good response from them might be to turn on their lights, call the police and watch the street for a few minutes so that they can provide a description of the offender to police.
For further information, please contact the city’s community safety offi cer on 9237 9222.
Personal safety is one of the most important factors when talking about preventing crime and injury.
In the home
Many people let their guard down about personal safety in the home, with many injuries resulting from
common sense mistakes. Make sure you:
  • Take actions to prevent electrical, chemical and thermal burns. Take action to prevent these incidents before they happen, especially if there are children around the home.
  • Store your chemicals safely. Locks, labels and safe locations help to prevent accidental poisoning
  • and chemical burns.
  • DIY right. DIY projects can be great fun, but they can cause serious injury. Take time to assess the task, and ensure you have the right skills and tools for the job.
Out and about
Keep yourself safe while out and about by following a few simple rules.
  • Never enter a situation where you suspect a crime may be occurring. If you think someone is in or has been in your home, or you see someone in your vehicle, move to a safe place and call 000 in an emergency or 131 444 for non-urgent police matters.
  • Help each other out when you’re out with friends. Having others with you can help to protect you from drink spiking, theft and physical crimes. It’s a good idea to make sure someone knows you’re going out.
  • Be alcohol aware. It can be fun go out and have a few drinks, but remember that even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgement. Be careful around roads, avoid arguments and take care of your friends.
  • Stick to the beaten path. Criminals are less active where people can see them. When walking during the day or night, stay in well-lit, busy areas.
For further information, please contact the city’s community safety offi cer on 9237 9222.
Having your property stolen can leave you feeling upset, intimidated and out of pocket. The following tips will help you keep your property safe.
Theft from cars
To reduce the chance of damage to and theft from your vehicle, keep it tidy and remove property from sight. Thieves are less likely to break in if there is nothing to be gained.
Tips to protect your car and your valuables:
  • Lock the vehicle’s doors and close the windows, even if you’re only leaving for a few minutes. s Don’t leave valuables in the car.
  • Keep valuables out of sight. Place your property into the boot before you reach your destination. Thieves have been known to target vehicles after seeing people move valuables into the boot.
  • Take the car stereo’s detachable face with you.
  • Be aware of where you are parking. Always choose a location that is brightly lit and, if possible, park in your yard or carport rather than on the street.
Protecting your property
Here are a few things you can do that will help to protect your property.
  • Mark property as yours. An engraved or written name will discourage thieves. Writing your details using an ultraviolet marker can help catch a thief red-handed.
  • Secure your property before you leave it, especially small, valuable items such as electronics and jewellery. A large proportion of crimes are crimes of opportunity.
  • Keep your property neat, tidy and in its place. This will help you recognise when something
  • has been stolen. The sooner you can notify police that something is missing the more likely it can be
  • tracked down.
  • Don’t leave items lying around that could be useful to burglars. This could include ladders,keys, pliers or other tools.
For further information, please contact the city’s community safety officer on 9237 9222