As summertime reaches its peak so does household property crime. The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), and McGruff the Crime Dog® are here to provide you and your loved ones with important safety tips to make your summer safe and enjoyable.
“Summer is the perfect time for a family break, but criminals don’t take a summer break,” said NCPC’s CEO, Ann M. Harkins. “You can avoid becoming a victim to lurking property predators by staying alert and following a few basic prevention measures.”
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, – “Household property crimes exhibited a pattern of seasonal fluctuations from 1993 to 2010. The most common pattern for household property crimes was that victimization occurred at higher rates during the summer than during other seasons.”
Home Safety Tips
- Be aware of what’s happening in the neighborhood: Download the McGruff Mobile app (available on iTunes or Google Play) to stay up-to-date regarding home and vehicle burglaries near your home. Receive and share information on the virtual neighborhood watch about suspicious activity in your neighborhood and receive alerts when you are away.
- Lock your doors, including the garage door. Unlocked doors are open invitations to intruders.
- Ask a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor to keep a watchful eye on your home or have your mail held at the local post office until your return.
- Put lights on timers to give the impression that someone is home.
- Don’t post on social media that you are leaving town, and wait post photos after you return from your trip.
- Lock your room and remember not to give out your room number or invite strangers into your hotel room.
- Be friendly but be vigilant. Watch for and report any suspicious behavior.
- Plan your route – stay within well-traveled routes and walk in groups. There’s safety in numbers.
- Keep your belongings secure - Purses should be securely closed, backpacks are zipped, and wallets are kept in your front pocket. When dining in restaurants do not hang your purse or backpack on the back of your chair.
Tips for Parents
- Be proactive – make a backup plan in case the group gets separated during a family outing and have a scheduled meeting place and time.
- If your child or teen will be alone a significant amount of time, have him/her check in with you if they plan to leave the house and when they arrive back home.
- Monitor Internet and social media activity to establish children and teens are visiting appropriate sites and following guidelines.
Car Safety Tips
- Always lock your doors and roll up your windows when you leave your car.
- Do not leave valuables in the car. If you must leave prized possessions in your vehicle keep them out of sight or hidden in the trunk.
- Before you get into your car, check the backseat and around the car. Lock your doors once inside the car.
These prevention tips are simple steps to avoiding summertime crime. If you would like more information, please visit www.ncpc.org. To get the free McGruff Mobile App, download for free on iTunes or Google Play.