Archive for the ‘Crime Tips’ Category

Child Security

Posted: October 5, 2017 in Crime Tips, Current News
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Child Safety & Security Classes

Is your child starting to be old enough to be left at home alone or with a sibling? Are they using the internet alone? The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers free online training for kids aged 5-17 on home alone safety, internet identity safety, and cyberbullying. Their website is www.netsmartz.org and they have materials for both kids and parents.

DIY Child ID Kit

Although it is not something you would ever want to have to use, a child ID kit is essential if you ever need law enforcement’s help finding your child. It is also a great tool to have when traveling far distances or if you live in a natural disaster area. Here’s what you need to make one at home:

  • Photo of the child’s face, in color, that has been taken in the last 6 months
    • The photo should be updated regularly, about twice a year
    • You should keep a physical copy on hand as well as a digit copy on a phone or computer that you can easily access
  • Create a description of your child and include their name, nickname, birthday, gender, hair color & style, eye color, weight, height, and any identifying qualities. Identifying qualities can include if they wear glasses, have braces, piercings, and birthmarks.
  • A copy of your child’s fingerprints
    • Grab some fingerprint ink from an office supply store
    • Have your child thoroughly wash their hands and fingertips
    • Roll their finger across the ink pad and then roll their finger across plain cardstock or paper, using firm and even pressure
    • The print should show lines and swirls clearly. If there are smudges, try again
    • Keep these prints somewhere secure. Do not give to anyone (including law enforcement) unless it is an emergency
  • A sample of DNA
    • There are services that you can use to collect and store your child’s DNA in case of an emergency, or you can do one of the following:
      • Have your child use a new toothbrush without toothpaste. Do not rinse it off. Let it air dry and then store it in a brown envelope. Use a self-sealing envelope or have your child lick to seal the envelope, and then store it in a cool, dry location
      • Follow the above instructions but instead have your child exclusively use a new hairbrush for a month. Store it with the hair in the brush
      • Collect a used bandage with a blood sample on it from your child and store it in a brown envelope in a cool, dry place
    • Dental Impressions
      • You can use a clean piece of Styrofoam to collect bite marks from your child. Have them bit down firmly on Styrofoam, so that you can clearly see their tooth impressions. Store somewhere safe, and update every two years until they are 18
    • Medical Reports
      • Keep copies of x-rays, dental records, and documentations of broken bones somewhere safe and accessible

If you can only do a couple of these things, the photograph, description, and DNA sample are the most important things to keep.

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There are many factors that can make your home a better target for burglary than other homes. For example, your house is at greater risk if:

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You may hear the same tips over and over on how to prevent crime or victimization, such as locking your doors and hiding valuables. But here are some tips that you may not have heard before or are not as obvious, but are just as important.

  • Keep your keys in hand – Criminals wait for you to be off your guard, keeping your car or house keys in hand for easy access is a great way to avoid being distracted or slowed down.
  • Don’t follow the same patterns – Leaving and returning home at the same time every day, going to the same coffee shop, grocery store, or bar, taking the same routes to your favorite spot, or even a jog route can help criminals plot where you are going to be. Try varying your routes and visiting new places occasionally. Being unpredictable can be a great asset.
  • Say no to strangers – We all want to be helpful and friendly, but it probably isn’t a good idea to lend out your phone, give people money, or get caught up in a conversation. Your priority should be your safety. Catching nice strangers off guard makes it easier to take off with their things.
  • Learn defensive moves – If someone is threatening you to give up your belongings, you should give them up and get out of there. Personal items can be replaced. But if they continue the attack or are attacking you for reasons other than theft, learning some basic self-defense moves can make a big difference. Read some self-defense tips here.
  • Carry a whistle or other loud device – Criminals don’t want you to bring attention to the situation. Scream, blow a whistle, or set off an alarm. Anything to make them hesitate so you can get away.
  • Look for a personal safety phone app – There are multiple choices these days for apps that can schedule fake phone calls from friends in case you need an out from a situation, send your current location and an alert to a friend if you feel unsafe, or even call the police. These apps can be subtle and unnoticeable to the people you are around. Here is a list of some iPhone and Android apps. 

If you are a victim of a crime, don’t be afraid to reach out. Report the crime to the police and look into crime victim help groups.

 

Abby Orscheln – Safety and Security Intern

Winter Safety Tips

Posted: December 2, 2016 in Crime Tips, Current News
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Winter is a beautiful season, but cold and snowy/icy conditions can present a lot of safety concerns. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe and warm this winter.

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Avoid Scams

Posted: November 25, 2016 in Crime Tips, Current News
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Sometimes scammers will call (or email) you to try to get you to pay them money. They may try to disguise themselves as a utility company or even a family member in need. You should always verify who you are talking to and if something seems suspicious, hang up.

Currently, in Missouri, there is an issue with people calling Ameren customers, pretending to be Ameren employees, and demanding they pay their bill immediately or will have their utilities turned off. Ameren has publicly said they would never do that, and will work with people who owe money. Immediately hang up if you get this suspicious call and report it to Ameren at 800-552-7583.

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Sometimes it is necessary to leave children home alone, whether you are at work while they are coming home from school, going to the grocery store, or out handling other errands. There are certain steps you can take to ensure that your children are safe even when home alone.

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Hate crimes are a felony offense. A hate crime is a type of crime committed against a person, property, or society that was motivated in part or in whole by bias, prejudice, or bigotry against a certain perceived sexual orientation, race, color, ethnicity, religion, creed, gender, disability, ancestry, or national origin. Even misdemeanor crimes, such as theft, trespassing, damage to property, or disorderly conduct can be charged as felonies if there was a biased motivation. 

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Forest Park Southeast is home to The Grove, a booming business and entertainment district in St. Louis City. Going out at night and supporting local businesses is great, but you should always keep your safety in mind! Here are some tips for going out at night.

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Crime Tips – Pickpockets

Posted: October 20, 2016 in Crime Tips, Current News

Pickpocketing is a widespread crime that can affect anyone, anywhere. A skilled pickpocket can make off with money, a wallet, a purse/backpack without ever getting caught. This article will teach you how to lower your suitability as a target and what to do if you are a victim.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Posted: October 6, 2016 in Crime Tips

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), “domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.”

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