National Crime Prevention Council
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Summer Safety Tips: Don’t Become a Victim of Summertime Crime

July 16, 2015
As summertime reaches its peak, so does household property crime.

The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and AlertID are working together to provide important safety tips to make your summer safe and enjoyable.

“Summer is the perfect time for a family break, but criminals don’t take a summer break,” said NCPC’s CEO Ann M. Harkins. “You can avoid becoming a victim to lurking property predators by staying alert and following a few basic prevention measures.”

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Household property crimes exhibited a pattern of seasonal fluctuations from 1993 to 2010. The most common pattern for household property crimes was that victimization occurred at higher rates during the summer than during other seasons.”

NCPC and AlertID have collaborated to bring to the public the McGruff Mobile app, which delivers critical public safety information to users through alerts on their mobile devices and computers.

“By taking preventative measures to safeguard your home before leaving for vacation, you can relax and have peace of mind while away,” said AlertID Founder, Keli Wilson. “With the McGruff Mobile app, you’ll be able to stay informed and have the information at your fingertips to protect your family wherever you travel”.

Home Safety Tips

  • Be aware of what’s happening in the neighborhood. You can use apps like the McGruff Mobile to stay up-to-date regarding home and vehicle burglaries near your home, and make sure you talk to your neighbors and participate in neighborhood block clubs or block watch groups to stay informed.
  • Lock your doors, including the garage door. Unlocked doors are open invitations to intruders.
  • Ask a trusted family member, friend or neighbor to keep a watchful eye on your home or have your mail held at the local post office until your return.
  • Put lights on timers to give the impression that someone is home.
  • Don’t post on social media that you are leaving town, and wait to post photos until after you return from your trip.

Vacation Tips

  • Lock your hotel room and remember not to give out your room number or invite strangers into your hotel room.
  • Be friendly but be vigilant. Watch for and report any suspicious behavior.
  • Plan your route; stay within well-traveled routes and walk in groups. There’s safety in numbers.
  • Keep your belongings secure: Purses should be securely closed, backpacks kept zipped and wallets placed in your front pocket. When dining in restaurants, do not hang your purse or backpack on the back of your chair.

Tips for Parents

  • Be proactive. Make a backup plan in case the group gets separated during a family outing and have a scheduled meeting place and time.
  • If  your child or teen will be alone a significant amount of time, have him/her check in with you if they plan to leave the house and when they arrive back home.
  • Monitor Internet and social media activity to establish children and teens are visiting appropriate sites and following guidelines.

Car Safety Tips

  • Always lock your doors and roll up your windows when you leave your car.
  • Put your junk in the trunk! Do not leave valuables in the car. If you must leave prized possessions in your vehicle, keep them out of sight or hidden in the trunk.
  • Before you get into your car, check the backseat and around the car. Lock your doors once inside the car.

These prevention tips are simple steps to avoid summertime crime. The free McGruff Mobile App can be download on iTunes or Google Play.

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