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Police Offer Safety Tips That Can Help Reduce Crime


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By Lookout Staff

January 31, 2019 -- In a video address Wednesday, Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud offered measures residents can take to help reduce crime, which rose by nearly 9 percent last year.

The Chief also urged residents to attend the Department's Community Police Academy, start a Neighborhood Watch Group or sponsor a meet-your neighbor event ("Crime Rose 8.8 Percent in Santa Monica Last Year, Police Chief Says in Video Address," January 30, 2019).

In addition, there are many, sometimes small, ways that crime can be prevented, and the Police Department's website provides tips that can reduce nearly every kind of crime.

Following are a few highlights for preventing property crimes and enhancing personal safety.

When it comes to auto burglaries, which rose by 119 in 2018, drivers should keep their items out of sight, take valuables with them or place them in their trunk before arriving at a location where people might be watching. They should always close the car windows, lock the doors and activate the alarm.

According to police, thieves target electronics, such as laptops, iPods, cameras, cell phones and chargers; equipment, including GPS devices, airbags, and stereos, and personal items such as purses, wallets, gym bags and backpacks that might hold cash, credit cards and ID cards.

Like auto burglaries, residential burglaries are often crimes of opportunity, according to SMPD's Home Security Measures tip page.

"In many cases, no force is used to gain entry during a break-in because the intruder enters through an UNLOCKED window or door. This does not have to be the case – most residential burglaries are preventable."

Police urge residents to always lock their doors and windows, even when leaving for “just a minute” and never leave a house key "under a doormat, in a flower pot or on the ledge of a door."

Residents also should make sure the entire perimeter of their home is well-lit, especially front and back door areas, and use good quality locks and other hardware to secure the property.

Residents can schedule a free security check of their home by contacting the Community Relations Unit at (310) 458-8474.

Of the violent crime reported, 34.88 percent were robberies and 56.71 percent were aggravated assaults, according to Chief Renaud.

When it comes to personal security, taking a proactive approach can reduce the risk of being a victim of crime, police said.

"Always be aware of your surroundings, project confidence and hold your belongings close to your body," are among the key tips.

In addition, police advise carrying a wallet inside a coat or in a front pocket, parking in well-lit areas where there are people or businesses and having the car keys ready in hand.

"Only you can decide the best response to an attack," police said. "Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself."

The Department's site provides safety tips for a variety of potential crimes, including date rape, which is "a felony sexual assault that leaves the victim injured and traumatized."

Tips for avoiding acquaintance rape include staying sober, driving your own car and being "prepared to assert your refusal if your date persists."

"Experts advise women to be open and assertive from the start to prevent any misunderstanding with their date," according to the site.

Police also advise learning self-defense techniques that provide an option when being attacked.

For these and other crime prevention tips click here

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