Crime prevention for those with physical disabilities

A physical disability, whether it impaired vision, hearing, or mobility doesn’t prevent you from being a victim of a crime. Common sense actions can reduce your risk.

Look Out For Yourself

* Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings, whether on the street, in an office building or shopping mall, driving, or waiting for a bus.

* Send the message that you’re calm, confident, and know where you’re going.

* Be realistic about your limitations. Avoid places or situations that put you at risk.

* Know the neighborhood where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, restaurants, or stores that are open and accessible.

* Avoid establishing predictable activity patterns. Most of us have daily routines, but never varying them may increase your vulnerability to crime.

At Home

* Put good locks on all your doors. Double –cylinder deadbolts are recommended, but make sure you can easily use the locks you install.

* Install peepholes on front and back doors at your eye level. This is especially important if you use a wheel chair.

* Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you as well as themselves are a frontline defense against crime.

* If you have difficulty speaking, have a friend record a message (giving your name, address, and type of disability) for you to use in emergencies. Keep the tape in a recorder next to your phone.

Out And About

* If possible, go with a friend.

* Stick to well lighted, well traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through vacant lots, wooded areas, parking lots or alleys.

* Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.

* Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket. If you use a wheelchair, keep your purse or wallet tucked snugly between you and the inside of the chair.

* If you use a knapsack, make sure it is securely shut.

* Always carry your medical information, in case of an emergency.

* Consider installing a cellular phone or CB radio in your vehicle.

Don’t Let A Con Artist Rip You Off

Many con artists prey on people’s desires to find miracle cures for chronic conditions and fatal diseases. To outsmart these con artists, remember these tips:

* If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

* Don’t let greed or desperation overcome common sense.

* Get a second opinion.

* Be wary of high pressure tactics, need for quick decisions, demands for cash only, or high yield, lowrisk investments.

For further information on this or others safety topics please contact the University of Florida Police Department’s Community Services Division at 392-1409.