As insecurity has become order of the day in contemporary Nigeria, with security agencies increasingly becoming helpless, there is the need for everyone to involve in measures towards personally protecting oneself in certain circumstances.
It is necessary to say that the following simple tips when put into practice, can reduce the chances of one becoming a crime victim. Do not forget that criminals are constantly surveying the environment for an opportunity to commit crimes. Therefore the tips can be of great assistance.
* ALWAYS BE ALERT AND AWARE —- while you are walking, keep your mind on what is going on around you. Knowing who is near, is the first step to being secure. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, move in the direction of other people.
DISPLAY CONFIDENCE – Walk with purpose, scan the area around you and make casual eye contact with others to display confidence. This reduces your chances of being targeted by criminals. Do not wear shoes or clothing that restricts your movements.
KEEP YOUR HANDS FREE – Carrying items makes you a more vulnerable target for criminals. Backpacks should be worn on your back, keeping your arms and hands s free. Avoid text messaging or lengthy GSM phone use while walking alone. Be extra alert; know who and what are around you at all times.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS – If you have an intuitive feeling that something is wrong, trust your instincts. React immediately and take action to reduce your risk. For example, a young lady walking on a lonely road with presence of fierce looking boys smoking away in one corner, having some fearful instinct on sighting the boys, should not hesitate to obey her instincts and quickly find a way of escape. If someone approaches you and you feel uncomfortable, move or ask for assistance. Call the police immediately about all suspicious movement.
ASK FOR HELP – If you feel vulnerable, ask police or any security agent to escort you to a safe place.
ALTERNATE YOUR ROUTES – One of the easiest ways criminals can easily get their target is by mastering the routes one takes to work or goes to his house after work. Learn not to follow one route at all times if there is/are alternative routes leading into/out of your residence.
KEEP YOUR SECRET – Researches have shown that a good number of successful robbery attacks or kidnapping for ransom cases were as a result of insider information. Therefore learn to keep away some personal information that easily give you out to criminal search light from personal drivers, house helps, cooks, security etc. Do not openly discuss your financial matters in presence of your domestic or official staff who are likely to give out such information about you to criminals.
ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOORS – Ensure that the entrance door to your residence is always locked especially at times. Teach your household not to indiscriminately open doors to strangers.
LOCK GATES ALWAYS – If you live in a fenced or walked compound, always ensure the gate is locked and ensure that Intruders do not have easy access into the premises.
PUT OUTSIDE LIGHTS ON – Ensure that your compound is always lit up at night to ward off criminal elements as the average criminal likes operating in the dark.
KEEP CONTACT WITH POLICE IN YOUR AREA – Ensure that you have the phone number of the Divional Police Officer (DPO) or any police officer in your area. Occasionally, you can relate with them and do not fail to contact them any time there is threat around you especially at night.
RECHARGE YOUR PHONE – Always ensure that there is air time in your phone when going to bed because emergency that would warrant calling for helps can occur. Also try and have the phone numbers of some neighbors you could reach in times of distress mostly at night.