Your personal security is based on your life style, and personal decisions. The Risk Continuum will assist you in determining your risk for becoming the victim of a violent crime. Minor changes in your life style may have a major impact on whether or not you will become a violent crime victim. There are many risk factors that you should consider when trying to reduce your level of risk. Personal security techniques are not expensive and if practiced regularly may help to keep you safe.
From 1960 - 2011 Violent Crime in the United States Increased 493% while the population increased 174%.
FBI 2011 Crime Clock Statistics
One Murder every 36 minutes.
One Forcible Rape every 6.3 minutes.
One Robbery every 1.5 minutes.
One Aggravated Assault every 42 seconds.
One Burglary every 14.4 seconds.
One Larceny Theft every 5.1 seconds.
One Motor Vehicle Theft every 44.1 seconds.2
Your risk to become the victim of a violent crime is directly related to your life style and personal decisions. Consider your risk level on a scale of 1 to 10. Are you low, medium, or high risk? When profiling violent crimes, the victim's risk and background are critical to understanding the crime. If you answer yes to most of the following questions, then you are at high risk to become the victim of a violent crime.
A well dressed man with a professional looking camera approaches you at the mall and asks for directions. Give directions. If he approaches you again, walk away and contact security.
A man approaches you in a mall parking lot and asks for a jump start for his vehicle which he claims is nearby. Tell him to contact mall security. Leave the area.
A man you do not know offers to help you carry your groceries from your car to your apartment. Decline.
A man with a cast on his arm drops the books he is carrying and asks you for help. Decline.
You hear a knock at the door but when you look through the peep hole, there is no one there. This happens again and then the door knob starts turning. Call 911. Obtain your weapon, take cover, and prepare to defend yourself. If you do not have a weapon, then use mace, or wasp spray. Search "Gunny and Glock - Wrong Girl" on You Tube and view. I do not recommend the technique of standing erect and pointing your weapon at the door. You should always take cover if an armed confrontation is imminent.
You (female) push button for elevator and single male is inside when door opens. Take the next elevator.
You are driving home and realize that you are being followed. Call 911, and drive to a police station, or other public area.
You arrive home and it appears that someone has broken into your residence. Call 911, leave the area. Do not go into your home.
You go to the grocery at night and observe two men in a car driving slowly around the parking lot. Leave.
A man with a knife or gun approaches you in a parking lot and tells you to get in his car. Flee the area. Moving targets are very difficult to hit.
A new neighbor asks you (female) to come to a party at his house. He appears overly friendly and compliments you on your appearance. Decline. If this behavior continues, tell him you are not interested and consider making a police report. Check stalking laws in your state.
Personal security is based on your life style, personal decisions and engagement in activities considered high risk. Your Risk Continuum score will increase or decrease based on changes in high risk behavior. There are many personal security techniques that will help keep you safe. Using them will lower your risk to become the victim of a violent crime.
Information contained in this article is based on the education, background, training, and experience of the author. Conclusions and security techniques may not apply to every reader and you should do your own research to confirm information in this article or to obtain a more comprehensive view of personal security issues and techniques.
Dan L. Vogel is a retired FBI Special Agent with 25 years of service. During his last 15 years with the FBI, he served as Coordinator, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime in the Oklahoma City office. 405-615-6877 firstname.lastname@example.org
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