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Crime Prevention Tips for People With Disabilities

Having a disability - impaired vision, hearing, intellectual, or mobility - doesn't prevent you from being a victim of crime. Common sense actions can reduce your risk.

  • Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
  • Send a message that you're calm, confident, and know where you're going.
  • Be realistic about your limitations. Avoid places or situations that put you at risk.
  • Know the neighborhood where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire station public telephones, hospitals, restaurants, or stores that are open and accessible.
  • Avoid establishing predictable activity patterns. Most of us have daily routines, but never varying them may increase your vulnerability to crime.

At Home

  • Put good locks on all your doors.
  • Install peepholes on front and back doors at your eye level. This is especially important if you use a wheelchair.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you as well as themselves are a frontline defense against crime.
  • If you have difficulty speaking, have a friend record a message (giving your name, address, and type of disability) to use in emergencies. Keep the tape in a recorder next to your phone.
  • Ask your police department to conduct a free home security survey to help identify your individual needs.

Out and About

  • If possible, go with a friend.
    • Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets.
    • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
    • Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket. If you use a wheelchair, keep your purse or wallet tucked snugly between you and the inside of the chair.
    • Always carry your medical information, in case of an emergency.
    • Consider keeping a cellular phone or installing a CB radio in your vehicle.
    • On public transportation use well-lighted, busy stops. Stay near other passengers.
    • Stay alert-don't doze or daydream.
    • If someone harasses you, make a loud noise or say "leave me alone". If that doesn't work, hit the emergency signal on the bus or train.

Take a Stand!

  • Join, or help organize a Neighborhood Watch group. Make sure their meetings are accessible to people with disabilities. For example, do they need a sign language interpreter? Can individuals who use walkers, crutches or wheelchairs enter the meeting place?
  • Work with local law enforcement to improve responses to all victims or witnesses of crime. Role-play how people with disabilities can handle threatening situations.
  • Work with a rehabilitation center or advocacy group to offer a presentation to schools and other community organizations on the needs and concerns of individuals with disabilities.

Don't Let a Con Artist Rip You Off

Many con artists prey on people's desires to find miracle cures for chronic conditions and fatal diseases. To outsmart these con artists, remember these tips:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don't let greed or desperation overcome common sense.
  • Get a second opinion.
  • Be wary of high-pressure tactics, need for quick decisions, demands for cash only, or high yield, low-risk investments.


Article Source
Richmond Police Department
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