Personal Safety Tips
The following safety tips have been provided by the Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the San Diego Police Department and the National Crime Prevention Council. For more information on what citizens can do to prevent crimes before they happen, please visit SDPD's website http://www.sandiego.gov/police/services/prevention/tips/index.shtml or NCPC's website http://www.ncpc.org/topics/violent-crime-and-personal-safety/protect-yourself-from-violent-crime.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Don't go out under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They will impair your judgment and reactions.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Walk with a friend or family member.
- Don't go out alone at night, venture into unfamiliar or dark places, take shortcuts, talk to or accept rides with strangers, or hitch rides. Don't walk in or near alleys, on deserted streets, near dark doorways or shrubbery.
- Don't approach vehicles even if the occupants say they need directions or assistance.
- Avoid verbal confrontations. They may lead to physical altercations.
- Carry a working cell phone. Otherwise know where phones are located along your route. 911 calls are free but carry change for other calls for assistance.
- Carry only necessities, i.e., identification (not a Social Security card), medical information, names and phone numbers of people to call in emergencies, some cash, and a credit card.
- Don’t display your cash or any other inviting targets such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Don’t be afraid to yell for help.
- Try to park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores, and people.
- Make sure you have your key out as you approach your door.
- Always lock your car, even if it’s in your own driveway; never leave your motor running.
- Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your car or to keep a stranger from forcing you into his or her car.
- If someone tries to rob you, give up your property—don’t give up your life.
- If you are robbed or assaulted, report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.
If you are out running, also:
- Vary your route.
- Don't run on deserted streets or trails.
- Don't run at dusk or at night.
- Run with a partner.
- Don't wear a headset. Not only won't you hear someone approaching but you may get so distracted by what you're listening to that you won't be aware of your surroundings.
Be AWARE of your surroundings and who or what is nearby:
- Listen to your intuition. If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.
- Watch your surroundings. Leave any places in which you are uncomfortable. Be especially alert for suspicious persons around banks, ATMs (Automated Teller Machines), stores, your home, etc.
- Be wary of strangers who seem overly friendly, ask a lot of questions, or ask for help.
- Never turn your back to a stranger.
- Be wary if a vehicle pulls up beside you.
- Be especially alert when alone in a dark parking lot or structure or any isolated area.
At Night Clubs and Social Functions:
- Go with and stay close to a friend.
- Use prearranged signals to indicate that you need help or want to leave.
- Don't allow alcohol or drugs impair your judgment.
- Watch your drinks and don’t give anyone an opportunity to spike them.
- State your personal social standards and limits. Stick to them and don't let anyone change your mind.
- Avoid people who make you nervous or uncomfortable.
- Provide your own transportation when you go out alone.