Officers with the Hazard Police Department discussed holiday crime prevention at a recent public safety committee at City Hall.
With a rash of purse snatchings and vehicle break-ins, Administrative Officer James East said it is important to be safe this season to avoid being a victim.
Every year, crimes tend to increase around Christmas due to the number of people in stores and the opportunities made available to criminals. Reducing the opportunity for someone to steal from you is important, regardless of how much perceived risk there is.
East said it is important to let people know where you are and to be able to be in contact with them during any trips. “Always tell somebody trusted where you are going,” East noted. “Always keep your cell phone with you.”
Due to the recent number of vehicle break-ins, police suggest putting anything valuable in a place where it cannot be seen inside the car. If someone does not know what is in the car, it is more of a gamble for them to break in and probably not worth the effort.
East said parking in a safe area also helps to reduce the chances that someone will risk breaking into your car. “Park in a well-lit area,” he suggested.
Police also suggest that women carry purses that can be worn across the shoulder so they cannot be snatched from a hand while walking.
Using safer methods of payment can reduce the amount of money someone can steal from you in the event that they are able to get ahold of a wallet or purse.
“Use your debit card instead of cash if at all possible,” said East. “If you are going to an ATM, make sure there is no one standing near you if there is move on until that person has left the area.”
The most important thing to remember this season is to keep a watchful eye for suspicious behavior and be observant of your items and surroundings. Doing these things can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim this season.