Senior Citizen Safety
Crime prevention is everyone's responsibility. It's not just a job for the police.
Report all crimes to the police no matter how minor, or embarrassing, it might be. They can put you in contact with victim service agencies, the district attorney's office, and other agencies whose staff are there to help you.
- Compared to other age groups, people 65 and over have the lowest rates for being victims of most types of crime, with a few exceptions--such as purse snatching.
- We all greatly fear crimes of violence, but these are the ones that happen least often.
- Most murders and assaults are committed by relatives or friends, not by strangers.
The following tips help you reduce your risk of being a crime victim. The common-sense actions also empower you by building confidence in your ability to protect yourself and to be independent.
Good Neighbors -- the Frontline Defense
- Work out a buddy system with a neighbor. Check on each other every day.
- Let neighbors know when you go on a trip so they can keep an eye on your house or apartment. Return the favor when they go away.
- Join a Neighborhood Watch Group.
- Volunteer for a block parent program that provides safe havens for neighborhood children in cases of emergency.
- If crime is a problem in your area, consider a citizen patrol -- residents who walk, or drive, around the neighborhood and use CB radios or cellular phones to report crime or suspicious activities to law enforcement. Many patrols also offer escort services.
- Lock up! Get good locks and use them. Exterior doors should have a deadbolt lock. Sliding glass doors should have a special lock, and you should use a pole about the size of a broom handle in the door track. A good lock or special device should be used for ground floor windows.
- Light up! Make sure all porches, entrances, and yards are well-lighted. Use timers when you are away or plan to come home after dark.
- Use a wide-angle peephole (installed at your height) to identify people who come to the front door.
- Ask all service and sales people for identification before you allow them into your home. Don't hesitate to call employers for verification.
- Be sensible about keys. Don't put an address tag on your key ring, and don't hide an extra key under a doormat or flower pot.
- Hang up immediately on harassing or obscene phone callers. If the caller persists, call police and the phone company.
- Use direct deposit for Social Security or pension checks.
- Keep emergency numbers for police, fire, and paramedics by the telephone.
- Mark valuable property--such as televisions, VCRs, cameras--with a personal identification number recommended by a law enforcement agency. Make a photographic inventory of jewelry and antiques. Also, make a listing for insurance purposes with descriptions, makes, and serial numbers.
- If you suspect a burglar has broken into your home, don't go in. Go to a neighbor's and call the police.
- Always lock your car doors. Never leave keys in the ignition when you leave the car, even for a few minutes.
- When you drive, keep the doors locked and windows up; and when coming to a stop at an intersection, leave sufficient room between your car and the car stopped in front of you. This will allow you to pull out and drive away if necessary. Park in well-lighted, busy areas.
- Don't leave packages or other tempting articles in view in a locked car. Lock them in the trunk.
- Never, never pick up hitchhikers.
- If you have car problems, be especially wary of strangers who offer help. Stay in the car, and ask them to call a service truck and the police.
Common-sense measures--like locking a door, joining Neighborhood Watch, going to the bank with a friend instead of alone--can help prevent crime.
Many older men and women fear crime even though, statistically, their risk of being victimized is low.
For non-emergencies, please contact the Stockton Police Department on the General Business number.
In an emergency, call 9-1-1.
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This City of Stockton webpage last reviewed on --- 3/21/2011