The Department's crime prevention efforts are designed to enhance public safety awareness and crime prevention through education, environmental design, and enforcement.
The local residential and business communities are educated about crime prevention and police department services through activities that include safety information, exhibition tables, the city's website, presentations, workshops, and security surveys.
Homeowner's Associations that want traffic enforcement on private streets within their communities need to complete a Traffic Enforcement Agreement and submit it to Officer Serena Besuden (506-5822).
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Stand Tall and walk with confidence. Don't show fear.
- Trust your instincts.
- If you feel uncomfortable, leave the area right away.
- Don't let Alcohol or drugs cloud your judgment.
- Choose busy streets to walk and avoid going through vacant lots.
- Try not to walk alone.
- Get to know your environment or neighborhood and the neighbors where you live.
- Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on your property.
- Report inoperable lights or signs to the appropriate agency or business.
- Walk at a steady pace on the side of the roadway facing traffic if there is no sidewalk available.
- Avoid doorways, high bushes, and alleys.
- Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom to move.
- Be extremely careful when people try to stop you for directions. Always reply from a distance, and never get close to a car to give directions.
- If you are in trouble, attract attention immediately by screaming for help or yelling "FIRE"
- If you feel that you are being followed, walk to a well lighted and populated area.
In a Vehicle
- Always lock your vehicle and take the key, even if you are going to be gone only a short time.
- Keep your vehicle in good working order and keep the gas tank at least on a quarter of a tank.
- Lock all vehicle doors while driving.
- If your vehicle breaks down, raise the hood, and keep the emergency flashers going. When someone stops to assist, don't get out. Open your vehicle window slightly and ask him/her to contact the police.
- If you are coming or going after dark, park in a well illuminated area.
- When in a parking garage, valet service, or having your vehicle serviced, leave only the ignition key with the attendant.
- NEVER pick up a hitchhiker.
- If possible, have a cellular phone and use it.
Using Public Transportation
- Always have your fare out and ready when leaving home or work.
- Plan your route by using the busiest and best illuminated stops.
- Sit near the driver or operator but not right next to the entrance door.
- Keep your purse, packages, shopping bags, etc. on your arm or between your feet when sitting.
- Never let yourself doze while traveling or at a transportation stop.
Security at Home
- Property crime is the most frequent type of crime reported to the Port Orange Police Department. This includes vandalism, theft, and burglary.
- Most burglars will spend less than 60 seconds attempting to gain entry into a residence.
- Make sure that all windows and doors are locked securely, particularly the sliding glass door.
- Make sure that all outside access doors have a good sturdy dead-bolt lock with a minimum 1 ½ inch bolt.
- Always lock your residence when you go out.
- Make sure that all porches and other entrances are well illuminated.
- Make sure that all outside doors are metal or solid.
- Do not hide a house key under the doormat or near-by flower pot. Its much wiser to give a house key to a trusted friend or neighbor.
- Install a peephole on outside doors at the proper level and use it.
- Check the identification of any sales or service personnel that may enter your residence.
- No matter what the reason, don't let strangers in your residence when you are alone. Offer to make an emergency telephone call for them or call the police.
- Never give the impression that you are home alone.
- If you come home and find a window or door open or forced entry has been made into your residence, DO NOT go inside. Go to the nearest telephone and call the police.
- Don't leave your garage door open for extended periods of time.
- If doors do not fit tightly in their frames, install weather stripping around them.
- When moving into a new house or apartment, rekey the locks immediately.
- Clearly display your house number on the residence so police and emergency vehicles can respond quickly.
- If traveling or away from home, use timers in different areas of the residence.
- Make a list of valuables---VCR, stereo, computer, jewelry and take photos of these items listing the serial numbers and description.
- Keep your yard clean of brush and cut back limbs or shrubbery so it doesn't hide windows and doors.
- Consider an alarm system, or motion detectors around the exterior of the residence.
Robberies are a problem at ATM machines. Here are some safety tips which may make using the ATM safer:
- If you drive to the ATM, it is best to lock your car when using the ATM. Keep your keys handy so you can enter your vehicle quickly after completing the transaction.
- Be alert for anything suspicious, especially two or more people in a nearby vehicle, particularly if no one else is at the ATM or someone who just appears to be "hanging" around the area.
- If you sense something wrong, leave the area immediately and use another ATM.
- When waiting in line wait well behind the person or persons using the ATM.
- When you are using the ATM and someone is closer than you would like, ask them to step back a few steps. If they do not step back it may be best to cancel your transaction and wait in your locked vehicle until that person leaves or you could go to another ATM.
- Have everything ready before you approach the ATM. Have your card ready, know your code, fill out the deposit envelope before approaching the ATM.
- Do NOT write your code on your ATM card. Keep your code secret. If needed, check the code before approaching the ATM.
- Stand directly in front of the ATM, blocking the view of others. You don't want others to see your code or to see what type of transaction you made, or how much money you withdrew.
- If you must use an ATM after dark, have a friend go with you if possible. Many ATM robberies occur between midnight and 6 a.m..
- At a drive-up ATM, keep all windows closed, except the one you are using, and all doors locked. Keep the car running, and keep your eyes moving, watching the front, sides, and rear area. If someone approaches your vehicle on foot, cancel the transaction and leave.
- When your transaction is completed, immediately take your property-(card-receipt-money, etc.) and put them in your pocket or purse and leave immediately. You can count your money later.
- When you leave the ATM and you feel someone is following you, walk or drive into the closest open business or call the police.
- Report all ATM crimes to the local police and the financial institution.
- Teach your child to never invite someone into your home without your permission.
- Teach your child to never take candy from strangers.
- Teach your child to never keep secrets from you.
- Avoid clothing with your child's name on it.
- Always accompany your child to a public restroom.
- Never leave your child in a public place, stroller or car.
- Always tell your child who will pick them up from school or other functions.
- Check out babysitters.
- Have a code word established with your child.
- Teach your child their name, address, and telephone number including area code.
- Teach your child that dad and mom has names also. Make sure they know first and last names.
- Teach your child how to use 911 for emergencies only.
- Teach your child to stay at your side in a public place. Explain what to do if they get lost.
- Take photos and fingerprints of your child (children in pre-school should be taken quarterly)
- Keep records such as birth certificates, birthmarks, and x-rays of your child.
- Teach your child to never get into anyone's car without your permission.
- Teach your child to avoid people that they don't know.
- Never assume your child will not be abducted. Always act as though it could happen.
- Teach your child that if someone stops for directions, they are not to get too close to the vehicle.
- Teach your child to stay safe.
"Can you spare a quarter?" Familiar words to anyone who shops or walks around any shopping area or public place. How should you react to someone who poses this question to you? Is it best to ignore a panhandler or to give them money?
Here are some suggestions that you might consider the following in an encounter with a panhandler:
- Any stranger who approaches you on the street should be viewed with caution, regardless of their appearance.
- Never display money or reveal where you keep it to anyone. Someone asking for change or another observer may be tempted to forcibly demand that you give up all of your cash.
- Always report any confrontation that you have with someone who physically or verbally forces you to give them money. Go to the nearest phone and report the incident to the police.
- Panhandling is a city ordinance violation.
- Anyone who is homeless and needs assistance or anyone who would like to help the homeless should contact an agency that provides direct homeless services.
The largest problem in Central Florida is roof repair scams. Seniors are especially targeted victims. Those roofers asking for money in advance are a serious problem. Always get a roofing contract in writing and do not be pressured. See the contractor's building license and bond card. Ask for a driver's license and write down the information from it. Get a telephone number where the roofer can be reached.
Individuals that contact a customer soliciting money advising that they are employed by the bank or was an examiner for the bank requesting that you take money out of your account is a scam. Banks will never ask a customer to remove money from their account. All banks have security divisions and if there is a problem, they will never ask a customer to remove money.
E-Mail, Letter or Fax Scams
These scams are usually begun from outside the borders of the United States. The e-mail, letter or fax most recently says that you have a distant relative that has died and left a large sum of money. These individuals are attempting to play on the common weakness of some individuals known as Greed. Never reply to these e-mails, letters, faxes, or by telephone.
These scams are usually begun at the beginning of the vacation season. Solicitors call with high-pressure sales, secret deals, demands for cash or credit card numbers, with high pressure for quick decision about a vacation package. Make sure you know the company and get a telephone number to call them back. Make sure you know the difference between 800 numbers and a 900 or 888 number. Never call back a long distance number if you do not know who the individual or company is.
- Carjacking takes place very quickly. Most take only 15 to 20 seconds to complete.
- Carjacking can be violent. Drivers have been beaten and even murdered while being pulled out of their car.
- Carjackers are usually armed. Either with a gun or knife.
- Carjacking may first involve a minor traffic accident. The victim's car is "bumped" at a stop sign, red light, or freeway off ramp. When the victim gets out of the car to check the damage, the suspect pulls a weapon and takes the car.
- Other carjackings occur at stop signs or lights. The suspect may approach you and pull a weapon on you ordering you out of the car; or as you are pulling into or out of a parking space, a second vehicle may block your path with a passenger from the suspect's vehicle getting out and pulling you out of your car. As you are entering or exiting your car, the suspect may be standing close by, in a parked car, or hiding by other parked cars, buildings, etc.
- BE AWARE. This is very important. Giving the appearance of not paying attention and not being alert is what suspects look for in a victim. Look around and get the BIG PICTURE of your surroundings.
- At Times, you may want to be a little suspicious of a person or persons. Ask yourself why is this person where they are? Some victims have seen the suspect but the victim thought the person looked "Innocent" and he was just standing around.
- Keep your house keys and the car keys on separate chains.
- When going to your car have your keys out and ready. Look around for anyone "hanging around your car or your path to your car". Don't hesitate to run back to where you came from to silicate help.
- LOOK AROUND one last time just before exiting the vehicle. When you pull into a parking area, look around for anyone "hanging" around or someone who seems out of place or someone who seems to " pace" their walk to arrive at your parking place as you exit your vehicle. If you see someone like this, move to another parking area or leave the area. By keeping your keys in your hand, you can quickly get back into your car if someone suddenly appears and approaches you. GET BACK IN THE CAR—HONK THE HORN-START THE CAR-AND START THE CAR MOVING OUT OF THAT LOCATION!
- In a minor "fender bender" type accident, if the location is secluded, instead of getting out immediately, you may want to drive to an open business, police station, fire station, etc… for your safety. Motion the other driver to follow you. You do not want to give the other driver the idea that you are running away from an accident, even though the other driver caused the accident.
- Keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up.
- Keep packages, purse, etc. on the floor rather than on the seat where they are easier to see.
- Keep your car in good working order with plenty of gas.
- If you have car trouble, keep your doors locked and windows up. If someone stops to help, stay in the car and ask them to call the police and/or a service station.
Gun Locks are provided free to any adult. They have been provided to the Port Orange Police Department through the Project Childsafe Organization.
Securing your vehicle can be one of the most difficult jobs in your effort to protect your personal belongings. Theft of stereos and other valuables from cars is a prevalent crime during the late night hours when most are asleep.
In order to reduce the likelihood of your car being stolen, the Port Orange Police Department has listed the following tips to consider:
- Consider the installation of an ignition "KILL" switch or a fuel cut-off valve. These usually range in price from $30.00 to $75.00.
- Try to avoid parking in large, subterranean or covered parking areas at night. These areas usually provide a risk-free environment for car thieves. Whenever possible, park where there is good lighting and a spot that is visible to potential eyewitnesses.
- Do not store valuables in your car, even in the trunk. Thieves often will force open the trunks especially at shopping centers and beach parking lots looking for concealed items.
- The installation of an alarm system that detects glass breakage can protect most car stereos from theft. Make sure that you can adjust the sensitivity so that false alarms will be eliminated.
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