The news is full of stories about people who have been raped, robbed, mugged, or otherwise assaulted, and everyone cringes when they hear these reports. Who hasn’t feared becoming one of these victims? The truth, however, is that the incidence of personal violence has dropped to its lowest level in almost three decades.
Everyone - and this applies to residents of big cities, small towns, and even rural areas - needs to be careful, but these lower rates of crime are evidence that if people are vigilant and take common-sense precautions, crime can be prevented.
But you may wonder how to ensure that. While no one can guarantee your total safety, you can lessen the chance of being a victim by making it more difficult for a would-be thief or attacker.
Keep your doors locked when home alone and lock your windows too when leaving the house for any long period of time. Open doors and windows are an invitation that you don't want to send. Turn your porch lights on at night and illuminate your backyard to ensure that anyone lurking there will be easily detected.
On the Street
Make sure you are not an easy target for crime on the street. Carry your purse in a manner that makes it hard to get--across your chest or under your arm where more than a simple grab is needed to snatch it. Men should carry their wallets in their inside coats or side pants pocket, never in your back pants pocket where it is easy to grab. If you walk to and from work or public bus stops, particularly at night, use well-lit and populated streets. When possible, walk with friends and, if you can, vary the route you take each night.
In your Car
Lock your doors and be sure to store your purse, wallet or other valuables beneath your seat. Park in well-lit areas for the safety of your car and yourself and always lock your car. If you notice that the street lights are out, call Traffic Engineering at 701.241.1440 to make sure this "condition for crime" is remedied.
Always be ready and carry your keys in your hands so that you are ready to open the door. If you know you will be coming home after dark, make sure to leave some lights on.
Remember, a crime-free city requires that everyone report suspicious activity to the police immediately.