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Crime Prevention

One of the essential ingredients of any successful crime prevention program is an informed public. It is the intent of CF to inform students and staff, in a timely manner, of any criminal activity or security problems, which may pose a reasonable threat to their physical safety. Such information will normally be distributed to students through the Student Activity Board and The Patriot Press, a student publication. Staff is informed through in-house memos or bulletins and the monthly Campus Crime Statistics Report.

Another critical element of a campus safety program is training. The Student Leadership Development Coordinator and the Student Activity Board sponsor programs on various topics ranging from sexual assault and awareness to substance prevention.

Finally, all effective crime prevention programs include some measure of people watching out for one another. All staff and students are asked to be ALERT, SECURITY CONSCIOUS, and INVOLVED. Call College Public Safety if you have knowledge of a crime, or if you observe an incident or person on campus that causes you to feel unsafe.

Ocala Campus at extension 1261 or 873-5841
Appleton Museum at extension 1848
Hampton Center at (352) 427-4640
Citrus Campus at extension 6135 or (352) 302-6081
Levy Center at extension 2100 or (352) 493-9533

Preventive Measures:

AT HOME

  • Don't open your home to strangers - utility companies furnish ID badges. Be suspicious of door-to-door solicitors.
  • Never reveal your phone number to a wrong number caller, and never listen to heavy breathers or obscene callers. Hang up gently.
  • Lock your apartment doors as soon as you enter or leave.
  • Don't lend your keys to anyone - period!!
  • If you notice any sign of forced entry when you come home, don't enter. Go to a neighbor's and call the police.
  • Never leave messages on your door.
  • Always have your keys out and ready when you come to your door.
  • Don't hide an extra key outside. Rapists and burglars know all the best spots.
  • Be wary of neighbors or casual acquaintances who make it a habit of "dropping in " when no one else is home.
  • Don't advertise that you live alone.
  • Don't leave underwear or bathing suits on the line, balcony or clothes racks at night. This could attract a rapist or a "peeping tom".

 

WHILE WALKING ON OR OFF CAMPUS

  • Walk briskly; look alert and confident; however, avoid presenting a "cocky" attitude or posture.
  • If you are being harassed from a vehicle, turn and walk in the opposite direction. Try to head for lights and people.
  • If you feel you must give directions to a driver or pedestrian, maintain enough distance to prevent being grabbed and dragged into the car or out of sight of passersby.
  • Never hitchhike or accept rides from a stranger.
  • Avoid dark and secluded places and do not bike, jog, or walk alone at night.
  • After an evening class, walk to your car with someone you know, if possible.
  • Trust your instincts when you sense danger. Don't be embarrassed "to make a scene" if you feel you are in danger.
  • Call the Public Safety office for a S.A.F.E. escort.

 

WHILE IN YOUR CAR

  • Before getting into your car, be sure to check the floor of the back seat.
  • When driving, keep your doors locked.
  • Whenever possible, park in a well-lighted area.
  • If you think you're being followed, do not drive home. Drive to the nearest gas, fire or police station, or to the nearest well-lighted area where there are people.
  • Don't pull over for flashing headlights. If it is an emergency vehicle or the police, there will be flashing red or blue lights on the top of the car.
  • Don't pick up a hitchhiker under any circumstances.
  • If you have car trouble on the road, raise the hood and then wait inside the car with the doors locked and the windows up. If a motorist stops to help, crack your window slightly and ask him or her to call the police.
  • Always carry enough money for an emergency phone call and to purchase gas if you need it. Maintain your car in good running condition.

 

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS

  • Be honest with your friend or acquaintance when you mean "NO". Be sure that not only your voice but also your body language (non-verbal actions) is saying "NO".
  • It is very risky to accept a ride home or an invitation for a late night snack from someone you've just met.
  • Be careful of whom you are with and where you are when under the influence of alcohol or other mood-altering drugs. Do not use drugs - period!
  • When your are using laundromats or apartment house laundry rooms, plan to go with a neighbor or friend. Try to avoid entering the area alone if it is empty.

IDENTITY THEFT

 

CAR THEFT PREVENTION

In the United States, a vehicle is stolen every 21 seconds. Stolen cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles cost victims time and money -- and increase everyone’s insurance premiums. They’re also often used to commit other crimes. Don’t become a victim of this serious crime. The National Crime Prevention offers tips to protect yourself from the crime.

The Basic Prevention Policy

  • Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away from it, even for “just a minute.”
  • Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even if it’s in front of your home.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk or at least out of sight. Buy radios and tape and CD players that can be removed and locked in the trunk.
  • Park in busy, well-lighted areas.
  • Carry the registration and insurance card with you. Don’t leave personal identification documents or credit cards in your vehicle.
  • When you pay to park in a lot or garage, leave just the ignition key with the attendant. Make sure no personal information is attached. Do the same when you take your car for repairs.

Add Extra Protection

  • Install a mechanical locking device -- commonly called clubs, collars, or j-bars -- that locks to the steering wheel, column, or brake to prevent the wheel from being turned more than a few degrees. Use it!
  • Investigate security systems if you live in a high-theft area or drive an automobile that’s an attractive target for thieves. You may get a discount on your auto insurance.
  • Look into CAT (Combat Auto Theft) and HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) partnership programs where individuals voluntarily register their cars with the police, and allow the police to stop the car during certain hours when they normally would not be driving (such as midnight to 5 a.m.). All participants display decals in a designated area on their vehicles.

What About Carjacking?

  • Carjacking -- stealing a car by force -- has captured headlines in the last few years. Statistically, your chances of being a carjacking victim are very slim, and preventive actions can reduce the risk even more.
  • Etch the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the windows, doors, fenders, and trunk lid. This helps discourage professional thieves who have to either remove or replace etched parts before selling the car. Copy the VIN and your tag number on a card and keep it in a safe place. If your vehicle is stolen, the police need this information.
  • Approach your car with the key in hand. Look around and inside before getting in.
  • When driving, keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times.
  • Be especially alert at intersections, gas stations, ATMs, shopping malls, convenience and grocery stores -- all are windows of opportunity for carjackers.
  • Park in well-lighted areas with good visibility, close to walkways, stores, and people.
  • If the carjacker has a weapon, give up the car with no questions asked. Your life is worth more than a car.

Beware Of the "Bump-and-Rob"

  • It works like this. A car, usually with a driver and at least one passenger, rear-ends or “bumps” you in traffic. You get out to check the damage. The driver or one of the passengers jumps in your car and drives off.
  • If you’re bumped by another car, look around before you get out. Make sure there are other cars around, then check out the car that’s rear-ended you and who’s in it. If the situation makes you uneasy, stay in the car and insist on moving to a police station or busy, well-lighted area to exchange information.

 

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