Five proactive awareness considerations if you witness suspicious activity:
If you see suspicious vehicular activity, first consider your own safety before getting close enough to write down the license plate number. If you feel safe, report the vehicle’s color, model and direction of travel to the police who may see the vehicle while en route. If directed, follow from a safe distance using your cell phone to guide police to the vehicle.
If your home appears to have been illegally entered, compromised, or you hear a suspicious noise, call the police. Adamantly insist that your husband or friend refrain from investigating or stopping a crime in progress. As hard as it is to watch property being vandalized it is better to be a good witness than an injured hero or heroine, and it is far better to lose property than to lose a loved one because of a criminal’s use of deadly force. Some men who attempted to investigate or stop crime have themselves been harmed. Property can be replaced, but one’s health and life are priceless.
Become a good witness if you see a crime in progress. If you witness these scenarios, the best practice is to immediately contact police so they can investigate; even if circumstances turn out to be harmless, the police patrol can be more focused and influential at deterring criminal behavior.
Do not attempt be a hero or heroine by confronting or approaching criminals yourself, as you may unnecessarily endanger your safety. Call the police if you see someone acting suspiciously. Report what the suspect is doing and give a detailed description of what he is wearing, exact location, landmarks or address, description of the vehicle, the side of the street and direction, and direction of its travel. You can also video tape the activity on your cell phone to record the description and the activity.
Pay attention to your environment. Frequently, victims of sexual assault see their assailant prior to the assault. If you view something suspicious, note it by describing the situation and people who catch your attention. Or you can video tape it on your cell phone. It may be nothing or it may be an important lead for law enforcement to identify and apprehend a predator or thief. Many criminals return to the scene of a crime, either because of curiosity or to gloat over their criminal deed. This places them at higher risk of being identified and apprehended if a witness provides a good description.
Report suspicious behavior immediately. Many people make statements as if they are bothering the police. It is their job to investigate such behavior. When suspicious behavior is not reported, no one will know about potential crimes in progress. Too often a crime is reported after the fact and more difficult to catch the criminal(s).
Model Mugging graduates naturally become more aware of their surroundings after taking the Basic self-defense course. They also increase assertiveness skills that also empower them to be more cautions, conscientious, and inclined to report suspicious behavior.
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