It is relatively easy to avoid trouble; just don’t go where trouble lives. You know places where trouble happens regularly, so don’t go there. You know the type of people who are always getting into trouble, so don’t hang out with them or go where they hang out.
As stated in Jim Croce’s 1970s hit song You don't mess around with Jim:
You don't tug on Superman's capeYou don't spit into the windYou don't pull the mask off an 'ole Lone RangerAnd you don't mess around with Jim
While not every crime can be avoided, you can help the odds by being as alert and prepared as possible when in public.
Tips for avoiding crime
Tips to help you avoid becoming the victim of a crime:
- According to Sensei Anthony Britton, there are eight steps to use in a street confrontation:
- Communicate with confidence
- Don’t make the situation worse
- Environment and exit
- Fire. Yell "fire" instead of help
- Get away
- Hit hard, fast, and first
- Stay with your friends when possible and do not use dark short cuts.
- Always make sure someone knows where you are!
- Try to look relaxed, but at the same time be thoughtful about where you are. Pickpockets like busy streets and crowded places; someone bumping into you may be a pickpocket.
- If something is stolen or you are accosted, go to the nearest police station, or call the police.
- If you are a college student, whenever possible, use the campus bus or late-night van services.
- Carry a whistle with you and blow it if you are approached.
- Be aware of your personal "space." Attackers often "test" potential victims by judging how they react, passively or assertively, when their area of comfortable space is invaded.
- Act alert and confident; walk briskly with your head up.
- Avoid conversations with strangers. If you feel you must answer, do so simply but firmly, and keep walking.
- Be cautious of pedestrians asking you for directions while you are in your car. Keep your doors locked and windows up.
- Avoid being maneuvered into alleyways, doorways, or cars. Keep moving toward your destination and do not get so involved in listening to someone that you are not aware of what he or she is doing.
- If someone appears to be taking too great an interest in you, seems to be following you, or if you just feel nervous about anyone for any reason, do not tell yourself it's only your imagination–take action. Change direction, cross the street, use the cell phone or emergency phones if possible, and move toward a place of greater safety, such as more people, stores, high traffic, or lighted areas.
- Always keep your eye on someone close enough to grab you. If he or she bothers you or tries to prevent you from leaving, make eye contact and say, "LEAVE ME ALONE" or "GO AWAY" in a loud, controlled voice. Be firm about what you want and be as public as you can. Attract attention; if necessary, move into the street, knock things over, or grab onto a bystander and do not let go, or yell "FIRE!"
- Do not wait to be grabbed. If someone starts to make a fast move toward you, start yelling. Throw your books or packages into his or her face and run.
- If someone grabs you and you decide to fight back, you must calculate your chances for survival. Is there someone nearby? Will passersby notice? Will someone hear you scream?
- Call the police to report any threatening incidents or unusual behavior.