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Senior Safety Information

Although surveys consistently show that persons over 65 are victims of crime far less frequently than young people, many senior citizens are so worried about crime that they shut themselves up in their homes and rarely go out. But isolating oneself behind locked doors and not getting together with neighbors actually makes it easier for criminals to work in the neighborhood.

Seniors are more vulnerable to certain crimes - purse snatching, mugging, and fraud. But you can reduce opportunities for criminals to strike by being careful, alert, and a good neighbor.

Personal Safety Suggestions

  • If you must carry a purse, hold it close to your body. Don't dangle it.
  • Avoid dark, deserted routes, even if they are the shortest.
  • Whenever possible, travel with a friend to run errands. There is safety in numbers!
  • Have your car or house key in hand as you approach your vehicle or home.
  • If you live alone, don't advertise it. Use only your first initial in phone books, directories, and apartment lobbies. Or better yet, don't list your name and number at all by requesting a non-published number.
  • Never let strangers in your home - ever! They may offer a sob story, to which you can call the police if you wish, but do not open the door!
  • Work out a "buddy" system with a friend to check on each other daily.
  • If you receive checks in the mail regularly, arrange for them to be sent directly to the bank instead.
  • Protect windows and sliding glass doors with good locks or other security devices.
  • Never put your purse or wallet on a counter while you examine merchandise in a store.

Don't Be Conned

According to the American Association of Retired Persons, older citizens are victims of fraudulent schemes far out of proportion to their population numbers. Keep informed about the latest con schemes in your community by reading the newspaper. Be skeptical about any proposal that sounds too good to be true or has to be kept secret. Don't rush into anything. Check it out with friends, lawyers, or police department.

If you are the victim of fraud, call the police immediately. You may be embarrassed because you were tricked, but your information is vital in catching the con artist and preventing others from being victimized.

E-Mail the Crime Prevention Coordinator