Crimes on higher education facilities are one of the most common problems experienced across the United States. For example, according to College Factual Philadelphia university has a 5.6% forceful sexual assault, motor vehicle theft, and arson related crime rate.
Those who live on college campuses should follow a few basic safety tips like walking in groups at night to prevent crime. Considering college students just started the fall semester less than a month ago, it is important that they develop street smarts alongside their book smarts when it comes to safety. Equipping oneself with basic crime prevention skills is a good start.
Three Ways To Avoid College Crimes
1. Theft Prevention
Theft is a common crime on college campuses due to the different socio-economic backgrounds of the students. The single most important thing to do to avoid theft is ensuring that you lock your room. Lock your room regardless of whether you are leaving for few seconds or are inside. It’s also vital to respect and uphold the integrity of the access card system. Other measures include:
- Not leaving your valuables in an unlocked backpack while at the gym or elsewhere
- Always leaving your car locked and taking the keys with you
- Keeping your money and jewelry safely and out of sight
- Avoid carrying a large amount of money with you or showing it off in public
- Refrain from leaving a note on the door that says you aren’t in
- Always lock your bike, preferably with a U-shaped lock
2. Personal Safety
When it comes to your personal safety, always ensure that you are aware and alert of your surroundings keeping in mind that drugs and alcohol interfere with your alertness. In case of danger, do what you have to do to survive including surrendering, fighting or using pepper spray. Moreover, always carry a noise device that will help attract others in case of suspicious activity. After all, criminals hate noise as it draws attention towards them.
If asked for directions, ensure that you keep a safe distance from people or person asking, especially if they are strangers. When going out at night, do so with friends and when going alone, ensure that you walk in high traffic places. The most important thing to remember is to trust your instincts and go with them always. You will want to ensure that you check your car for uninvited guests before entering and that your room door stays locked when going to bed.
3. Identity Theft
While it doesn’t involve physical confrontation, identity theft is a crime that’s becoming increasingly popular in colleges. According to Identity Theft Officer students in Philadelphia aged between 18 and 25 account for 29% of the total identity theft crimes. It’s important that all students learn how to protect their identities from hackers as well as predators who can steal information right from the trash bin.
Thousands of students become identity theft victims on a yearly basis, and solving this issue is a long, costly process. It’s not an experience that anyone, particularly a college student who is just starting to build their history, wants to go through. Measures to take here include installing a firewall on your devices, not opening suspicious emails or downloading and installing software from untrustworthy publishers as well as refraining from throwing paperwork that may contain sensitive information in the trash. Burn them instead.
General Safety Tips
Other safety tips to put into practice include:
- While fire alarms aren’t common, always treat every alarm as a fire
- Report frequent hang-up calls to campus security
- Don’t drink and drive to avoid hitting someone or worse, killing someone
- Avoid walking on streets or sidewalks where the nearest person is more than three hundred feet away from you
- Watch out for suspicious behavior including suspicious vehicles and people following you around
- Limit alcohol consumption when going out to a party, walking on streets or driving
The most important thing to remember as a college student is that by being aware and alert, you can prevent criminal activity in Philadelphia colleges. Take responsibility for your safety as well as that of your friends and neighbors. Utilizing the crime prevention resources from your college’s security department can also go a long way in helping prevent crime in Philadelphia