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Personal Security Awareness of WA Police
2017/06/07

Personal Security Measures

 

 

Security whether personal or occupational is everyone's responsibility!

 

There are three (3) key points to remember when considering your personal security:

 

  1. You are responsible for ensuring you take sensible security precautions at all times.

 

  1. You are at greater risk of attack when completing routine tasks.

 

  1. Security measures should be commensurate to the known or likely threat or criminal behaviour.

 

 

The precautions required will depend greatly on the potential or actual threat, which should be assessed by taking into account such things as;

 

ü    Your place of study or employment

ü    Your general environment such as the suburb where you live

ü    Any specific threat or trend regarding criminal activity which may occur in these places.

 

It is impossible to remain alert 24 hours a day. Therefore the solution is to formulate reasonable security precautions that suit the potential threats you might face.

 

The advice contained in this document is based on common sense and can be readily adapted to meet the individual needs of the reader to form the base of his or her own personal security awareness plan.

Personal security

 

You are responsible for ensuring you take sensible security precautions at all times.

 

You are at greater risk of becoming the victim of a criminal act in the area of your home, your place of work and on other routine activities when your movements can be predicted.

 

The greatest contribution to your personal security can be made by:

 

·     Your alertness

 

·     Alternating your routine patterns of activity

 

·     Adopting sensible and practical security measures.

 

Security at Home

 

 

You are at greatest risk when answering your door, particularly at night. Devise a drill for checking who is at the door without exposing yourself to potential danger. Such actions can include:

 

·     Do not switch on the hall/lobby light when answering the door.

 

·     Never open the door if you are suspicious of any caller.

 

·     Make sure that all doors are made secure with robust locks and bolts.

 

·     Keep all windows locked unless you are occupying a room and then only open enough for ventilation.

 

·     After dark keep all curtains or blinds closed.

 

·     Before opening curtains and blinds, switch off lights.

 

·     Check all doors and windows before retiring for the night and when you leave the house unoccupied for any period.

 

·    Ensure there is sufficient external lighting during darkness as well as inside a residence; this can provide an element of deterrence to potential intruders.

 

·     At least one bright 'courtesy' light or motion activated sensor light should be kept on in areas at the front and rear of your residence during the hours of darkness.

 

·     If you go out at night, prepare for your return by turning on your garage light and any approach and/or driveway lights. Some internal lights should also be left on.

 

  

Physical Security

 

Physical security seeks to establish a series of barriers which a potential intruder must negotiate or defeat before they reach your property or person.

 

By installing appropriate security devices at your premises you may deter or delay an intruder from gaining access, therefore providing you with more time to contact Police as well as prevent access to the premises by the intruder.

 

In brief this should include, but is not limited to:

 

ü    Fences – ensure fences are well maintained and repaired if damaged.

 

ü    Gates – ensure they are of solid design and fitted with padlocks.

 

ü    Security lighting at the front and rear of the property – preferably motion activated.

 

ü    Install locks on all windows and ensure keys are not left in the lock.

 

ü    Ensure all external doors are of solid core design and fitted with deadbolts.  

 

ü    Consider fitting an alarm system with a blue strobe light and loud audible alarm.

 

ü    Ensure smoke detectors with battery backup are installed – these can be integrated into an alarm system.

 

ü    Where additional security is required steel security bars can be fitted to the internal or external window frames depending on design.

 

ü    Consider installing an external security screen door – ensure the door locks in three (3) places.

 

 

 

Physical security or target hardening provides you more time to contact police and prevent entry to the premises by an attacker.

 

 

Telephone

 

·     Site your telephone in such a position that you cannot be observed through the windows or doors, particularly the front door. Also consider fitting a bedside extension.

 

·     Keep a list of emergency numbers next to each telephone extension; this should include Police Emergency "000", Police Assistance Centre (PAC) 131444 and you local Council security contact numbers.

 

·     Other members of the household should be advised to exercise discretion when answering the telephone.

 

·     No information should be given to callers regarding your whereabouts or future intentions unless you are sure of the identity of the person you are speaking to.

 

·     The caller's name and number should be taken so that you personally can return the call.

 

Key Security

 

·     Keep a strict check on your house keys.

 

·     Do not allow duplicates to be made without your permission.

 

·     If a key is lost in suspicious circumstances or it can be readily connected to your address it is better to have a new lock fitted.

 

·     Never leave a key under the mat, in the mailbox or other hiding places.

 

 

Visitors

 

·     All visitors should be positively identified before being permitted entry to the premises.

 

·     Friends and relatives should be asked to inform you of intended visits whenever possible.

 

·     Arrange for fixed times for workmen to call. Check their identity and never leave them in the residence on their own.

 

·     Additional care should be exercised when holding functions or parties at your residence, e.g., home deliveries of food and drink. Avoid 'open house' type parties.

 

·     Very late callers, whether known or unknown, should be treated with extreme caution.

 

·     Be extra cautious of people attending your premises asking to use the phone or for a drink. These excuses can be used by intruders to gain entry to the premises to commit criminal acts.

 

Home deliveries

 

·     Exercise caution when accepting presents or deliveries from unknown persons.

 

·     Check deliveries carefully before accepting them and do not permit couriers or delivery agents to enter the house unless necessary e.g. when delivering large or heavy items.

 

·     Discourage the leaving of parcels or bags on windowsills or at the door, this confirms the house is unoccupied as well as the item being vulnerable to theft.

 

·     Stop regular deliveries when you are going away e.g. newspapers.

 

·     Lock your mailbox to help prevent theft of personal mail which may be used in identity theft.

 

·     If you regularly receive sensitive or valuable items by mail consider obtaining a locked mail box at your nearest Post Office for extra security.

 

Garden and Garage

 

·     Keep your garbage bin, if possible, in a locked enclosed yard.

 

·     Ensure trees and bushes, especially those close to the house, are removed or trimmed sufficiently to make it difficult for an intruder to conceal their presence or items.

 

·     Keep the area surrounding your house neat and tidy so that anything suspicious is immediately obvious.

 

·     Keep your garage and shed locked at all times. If you find signs of attempted forced entry inform the police immediately.

 

 

Suspicious Incidents

 

·     Report any suspicious vehicles parked or persons loitering in the vicinity of your home. Before doing so, get as much information as possible, such as:

 

ü    Description of the individual and what he or she is doing.

 

ü    Description of the car including make, colour and registration number.

 

ü    Do not put yourself at risk to obtain this information.

 

 

Security Away From Home

 

 

Travelling in general

 

·     You are at greater risk on routine journeys, particularly in the general vicinity of your house and when going to and from work.

 

·     Vary your method of travel, your routes and timings whenever possible.

 

·     Let someone know where you are going and the approximate time you expect to return.

 

·     Try to avoid establishing patterns of movement. Do not go to the same restaurant, club, bar, cafe, etc at the same time, on the same day, and sit at the same table.

 

·     Always travel in company whenever possible.

 

·     Check the driveway and road before you leave your home.

 

·     If at any time you think you are being followed try to obtain a description of the person/s and the vehicle, including the registration number. Inform the police as soon as possible.

 

Walking

 

·     Whenever possible regardless of the time, however particularly at night, walk in groups.

 

·     If you are walking at night, walk on brightly lit, well-used streets as much as possible.

 

·     If you must take a poorly lit route, walk near the kerb or well away from bushes, dark doorways and other places of concealment.

 

·     Be alert to your surroundings. Take detours away from people loitering for no reason.

 

·     Avoid 'short cuts' through vacant lots, alleyways or deserted parks, especially if you are not familiar with the area.

 

·     If someone appears to be following you, know your surroundings and identify a safe place to go – preferably a well lit location with people.

 

 

When Driving

 

·     Ensure that windows are fully closed when car is parked and opened only enough for ventilation when you are driving.

 

·     Ensure car doors are locked again after you start driving.

 

·      Do not give lifts or open doors or windows to unknown persons.

 

 

 

Security at University

 

 

·      Be aware of your University campus layout and where the security office and security assistance buttons or posts are located.

 

·      Ensure you know the contact phone number for University security and store this number in your mobile phone.

 

·      You can ask University Security for an escort to your vehicle or the bus stop at any time of the day or night.

 

·      Take note of people who appear to be loitering, particularly during hours of darkness, and report this to Security.

 

·      Don't walk around campus, especially at night, with MP3 personal music systems playing – these distract you and prevent you from hearing the approach of potential offenders.

 

·      If you choose to use an MP3 player, turn the volume down and only have one earpiece attached.

 

·      Do not readily display large amounts of money or items of value; this may increase the risk of becoming the victim of a criminal offence.

 

·      If you must carry a large sum of money; such as to pay course fees; have someone you trust accompany you and do not display or show the money prior to paying at the cashier.

 

·      Pay attention to University announcements regarding security issues and recommendations to improve student safety.

 

·      If you have a concern regarding security at your University report it!

 

 

 

 

 

Security at the Workplace

 

 

When you apply for or accept a job, whether part time or full time, you should familiarise yourself with the risks associated with the employment.

 

Certain jobs have a higher risk of becoming a victim of a criminal act than others. Some of these occupations might include:

 

Ø    Security.

Ø    Occupations requiring regular interaction with intoxicated or drug affected persons.

Ø    Occupations which require shift work or finish late at night.

Ø    Occupations requiring you to work by yourself or in an isolated location.

 

The risks may vary according to the occupation, it is therefore recommended that you consider the risks you may be exposed to when applying for a job and determine a reasonable security plan you can apply to minimise the risk to yourself.

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

 

Social networking sites:

 

Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and dating sites are common place and a valuable tool to communicate with family and friends.

 

However;

 

·      You should remain aware of the risk to your security and identity when using these sites.

 

·      Do not post too much personal information on open sites with little or no security or access controls.

 

·      This information can be used to steal or fraudulently use your identity by criminals.

 

·      Always ensure you use security measures on these sites to restrict access to your information to trusted friends only.

 

·      Before accepting new friends or providing passwords to secure information, make sure you know and trust the person requesting this access.

 

  

 

Mobile phones and PDA's

 

·      Be aware that Bluetooth and infrared data transmission mediums can be vulnerable to hacking.

 

·      If you keep sensitive information, such as banking passwords, on your mobile phone this can be accessed.

 

·      Always turn off Bluetooth or infrared capabilities when they are not in use.

 

·      Be cautious about storing sensitive information on your mobile phone, if you must ensure it is password protected.

 

 

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