Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Crime Prevention

Here are a few Crime Prevention Tips developed by the Cooper Young Community Association. Remember that the majority of crimes committed in our city are crimes of opportunity – by taking a few precautions, we can help prevent opportunistic thieves from prospering in our neighborhood!

• ALWAYS park in well-lighted areas, and have your keys out of your pocket or purse when leaving the car and when entering the car. Having to fumble for your keys makes you an easy target. If you are outside your own home, notice if your area is well lighted. Leave your porch light ON to help you when returning home after dark and to help police locate street addresses! If streetlights are out on your block, report them to the power company.

• NEVER leave anything in your car. Take with you anything of value: cd’s, tapes, cell phones, laptop computers, briefcases, backpacks, purses, sample cases, luggage, coats, umbrellas; be sure that loose coins, sunglasses, and other small items are out of view. Anything that is visible may lead to a broken window.

• ALWAYS report suspicious activity. If you see someone suspicious looking in cars or windows of houses, get the best description you can and call the Memphis Police Department’s non-emergency number 545-COPS (2677). Dial “0” on the menu, and talk to an operator. Give them your information. This can (and does!) stop crimes from happening in our area.

• NEVER give cash to anyone soliciting money. If you choose to engage and want to help, offer him or her food instead, or direct them to local providers of services to the homeless. Do not give strangers or panhandlers a ride somewhere; most often requests for bus money or other transportation are pure fictions which can separate you from your cash or put you at risk.

• ALWAYS lock your car doors and doors, windows, gates, sheds etc. on your property. Easy access to any of these areas is an invitation for the opportunistic criminal. If you have alarms, set them. Alarms and locks slow down criminals. The longer they are in an area the more likely they are to be seen.

• NEVER hire unknown handymen going door to door. Many break-ins and thefts of lawn equipment happen after a homeowner has hired someone unknown to them to cut the grass or do odd jobs – most often for very little money. The cheapest solution is not always the best, and can have long-term consequences. Folks working in your yard have the greatest access to your home and the opportunity to check your windows, locks on your shed, even meet your pets.

• ALWAYS report crimes to the police, even thefts of small items. And let the Annesdale Park Association know about it! Send an email to with the details so we can share the info with the community. Communication is one of the best crime fighting tools we have!

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