Walking or running are both healthy habits, but there are things that you need know to make sure that you stay safe when out on the streets.
“Be aware of where you are first and foremost,” says SCMPD Crime Prevention Officer Marvin Williams.
Whether you are out running for exercise or just getting to where you are going by walking, police say it’s important that you always keep an eye on your surroundings.
“Surveil your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to move your head from side to side. It gets your eyes moving. It stretches your peripheral. You get a chance to see things that are around you. Hopefully, avoid things that you want to avoid,” Officer Williams said.
Officer Williams says don’t let your electronic gadgets distract you either.
“Very often we see people with their phones, tablets buried three inches from their face and headphones in. That’s fine, but unfortunately, when you do that you are narrowing your field of vision. You are narrowing your focus and people and can see you and you can’t see them,” he said.
Here’s some other advice that can help keep you from becoming a victim:
Try to walk places with your friends rather than alone.
Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys
Don’t display your cash or inviting targets such as iPods and cell phones.
Carry your backpack or purse close to your body and keep it closed. Carry a wallet in the front pants pocket.
Have your car or house keys in your hand before you reach the door.
If you think you are being followed switch directions or cross the street. Get to a more public place and don’t be afraid to yell for help.
“Dial 911. Let the operator know I’m in this area I feel like I’m being followed. Say it loud. No need to sneak around at this point. The idea in this particular case is to bring as much attention to yourself as you can,” Officer Williams said.
Police also say if someone does try to rob you, give up your property. It’s not worth your life.
They also say to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back and to report anything that you think is suspicious.
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