Sheriff Wayne Ivey’s Weekly Crime Tip Focuses On How Prevention Efforts Have Changed
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // May 23, 2016
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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Over the past several decades it is amazing how much things have changed in our world. From the meaning of certain words right down to how we approach Crime Prevention, one thing is clear…we live in an ever changing world.
Historically, Crime Prevention meant going into a neighborhood and telling the homeowners how many burglaries had occurred in the past month and that they should lock their doors at night.
Today’s Crime Prevention efforts extend much deeper and are designed to reach the citizen before the crime happens and not after, so that we can prevent the crime from ever occurring. Today’s Crime Prevention efforts include Social Media, In-Person Presentations and Apps on our Smartphones.
Today’s efforts are designed to create instant delivery of information from us to our citizens and from our citizens to us. Today’s Crime Prevention is designed with the thought, “It takes a community to protect a community.”
Even with that, I thought we would take a quick look at how other Crime Prevention techniques have changed in what we used to tell our citizens to do to protect themselves and what we tell them to do today to help keep our community safe.
1) Identity Theft: Historically we used to tell citizens that in order to prevent their TV from being stolen they should take an etching tool and put their Social Security Number on the back of the TV. Are you kidding me? Today we want you to do everything you can to conceal your Social Security Number and to never freely give it too anyone until you have verified that they actually need it and are going to protect it.
2) While On Vacation: We used to tell citizens to stop their mail and newspaper so that they didn’t pile up at the front of the house or in the mailbox. Today we encourage our citizens to not do that, but instead have a trusted family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor that can pick up your mail and newspaper. Today we want your home to look lived in. We also don’t want to advertise to everyone at the newspaper and post office that our home is unoccupied for two weeks.
And by the way when I say “trusted” I don’t just mean trusted to not break into your house and steal everything you have, I mean trusted to be responsible enough to do what you have asked to help protect your home. And remember you need to stand ready to return the favor when they are on vacation as well.
3) Environmental Challenges: In days past we told homeowners to allow hedges to grow around their homes so that people could not see inside their home or look at their possessions. Today we want you to make sure that there are no high hedges or trees that could create a barrier for a criminal to hide behind or prevent you or a neighbor from observing foul play or a broken window.
4) Leave The Light On: I always remember my mom and dad making sure they left a light on in the window when we left for vacation. Today’s criminal knows your home is vacant after they see the light on in the window for the second night in a row. You can overcome this by having lights on a rotating timer that turns different lights on and off at different intervals.
5) Carry Cash to Avoid Credit Card Fraud: Please remember that if you are robbed or you lose your money there is no one going to be able to give your money back to you so your best and safest bet is to use your credit cards wisely.
Use technology to help keep you safe such as getting a text message anytime your credit card is used or by protecting cards with data chips by having them in a protective sleeve that prevents the card data from being extracted.
Trust me when I tell you that the above tips are just a few of the things that have changed in our world and in Crime Prevention.
For more information on how to protect your family and home please visit our website at www.BrevardSheriff.com or contact our Crime Prevention Unit at 321-264-7755.
– Sheriff Wayne Ivey
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