The NYPD offers the following safety tips for females in a variety of circumstances.
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t walk on the street with headphones because you can’t hear someone coming up behind you.
- Carry your bag close to your body in the bend of your elbow and carry only the amount of cash or credit cards necessary to make your purchases.
- Travel on populated, well-lit streets. Don’t take shortcuts thru isolated areas. If you suspect you are being followed, stay away from deserted blocks and head for an area where people are or the nearest store.
- Avoid walking alone at night, if possible, travel with a friend.
- Walk closer to the curb to avoid passing too close to dark doorways, shrubbery, or other dark places of concealment.
- Should someone attempt to harass you, just keep on walking. Responding to this kind of behavior could escalate the situation.
- Should a motorist bother you while you are walking, reverse your direction. If you are still being followed, seek a safe location, and yell for help, if necessary. Do not be afraid to use your voice; it is the best weapon you have.
- Have your cell phone handy and always know your location in case of an emergency and you must call 911.
- Don’t wait until you have reached your front door to look for your keys. Have them ready in your hand.
SUBWAYS & BUSES
- During Off-Peak Hours: Use designated waiting areas and ride in the conductor’s car.
- Sit near the front of the bus.
- Be particularly aware of your bag in crowded situations, such as rush hour trains and buses.
- Do not display jewelry or cash, as this may attract potential robbers.
- When waiting for an elevator and someone makes you feel uncomfortable; leave the lobby and wait for the next elevator.
- Check the elevator’s mirror before entering.
- Exit the elevator if someone enters that makes you feel uneasy.
- When in the elevator, stand by the control panel; if accosted, press as many buttons as possible to get the elevator to stop at the next floor.
- Park in a well-lighted area.
- Always check the rear seat area of the car before entering.
- Put presents or packages out of sight.
- If a van or truck is parked next to your car, be cautious before entering for you are out of public view.
- When getting gas, keep passenger doors locked and windows closed. Do not leave your bag on the seat in plain view.
- Maintain your car in good working order to avoid breakdowns. Make sure your gas tank is full.
BARS / NIGHT CLUBS
- When in a bar or night club, don’t leave your bag over the back of your chair, on a stool, or on the floor. Always place your bag on your lap.
- Do not accept drinks from anyone if you did not see them prepared and do not leave your drink unattended for any period of time.
- Never leave your bag unattended.
- Arrange a buddy system with a friend and always watch after each other.
- Always carry enough money for a taxi and make sure you record the taxi car number.
Be aware of “con artists”. Some of the scams to be aware of:
- Theatre, music, and sporting event tickets sold on the street or on the internet may be counterfeit.
- Persons pointing to money, that you have supposedly dropped, who take your briefcase and luggage when you bend down to pick up the money.
- Someone helping to “clean off” mustard or ketchup that has been squirted on your jacket as a distraction to remove your wallet or other valuable items.
- Be wary of unexpected persons coming to your hotel room. Never open the door to unsolicited room service or maintenance people. Contact the front desk if you have any doubts.
- Make sure that luggage is only given to a member of the hotel’s bell staff and a receipt is issued for stored luggage. Never leave luggage or other expensive items unattended at airports or taxi stands.
- If you choose to use a car service, contact a specific company directly. Never enter an unsolicited “car service” vehicle offering to take you to your destination. Yellow medallion taxies are the only vehicles permitted to pick up fares on the street.
- Follow Your Instincts: If something seems wrong, it probably is. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Click here for other great NYPD safety tips.