CITY OF ONEIDA
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
BUREAU OF POLICE

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 Crime Prevention Tips

Crime prevention means being aware of your environment and remaining alert to situations that could make you vulnerable to crime.
The suggestions presented should not be thought of as a list of crime prevention measures, but as examples of common sense behavior that will help you to make life safer and more secure.
  1. Computer Safety
  2. Car Jacking
  3. Burglaries 
  4. Fraud
  5. Motor Vehicle Accidents or Reckless Driving
  6. Vehicle Breakdowns
  7. Protecting Children and Teens
  8. Suspicious Incidents
  9. Reporting an Incident
  10. Suspected drug Activity
  11. Disputes and Assaults
Computer Safety:  It is suggested that parents monitor the computer activity of their children when the children go online.    Concerns such as checking sites that have been visited, computer activity that is illegal, blocking out unwanted sites, teaching children not to give out personnel information are among topics covered.  Children should be alerted to sexual predators that utilize the internet and try and arrange meetings with minors.  Teens or young children should be advised that the person they are communicating with may be providing them false information on their age, location or sex.  No personnel information should be given out, this includes; phone numbers, full name, date of birth, address, school, work place, etc.  There  have been cases that have resulted in sex offenses committed against a victim after meeting with someone they met with on a computer, phone party line, etc.   In some cases older teens have left home to be with someone they met on line without knowing if the person has been deceiving them.  Careful monitoring of computer activity can help to avoid such incidents.When using a computer for transactions, purchases or recreation should use caution when providing any personnel or identifying information.  E-mails sent by an unknown sender should not be opened.  Be alert to various scams that are conducted on the internet.  One such scan involves and unknown source, usually from a foreign country, offering to provide you a large sum of money to help them transfer funds.  As the scam progresses you are asked to send money to further the transaction costs or bank account information that can result in you accounts being accessed and money stolen from you.  When conducting any transaction make sure you are on secure site. 
 
Car Jacking:  This is of particular interest to those people traveling in large cities or unfamiliar areas. To avoid a car jacking or potential assault in parking lots of Shopping Centers, Malls or any location in which you park your vehicle the following precautions are recommended;  Park in a well lit area, park in an area that is visible to the public and in which will be used by other citizens when you will be returning to your vehicle, Lock your vehicle, when returning to your vehicle have your keys ready and be observant of your surroundings, if something looks suspicious return to the building that you exited and call police, once you enter your vehicle lock the doors.  Be aware of tactics used to entice you from your vehicle- One such tactic that is being encountered is a piece of paper being taped to the outside of the rear window of the vehicle, when the motorist starts to back up and observes the paper they get out to see what it is, at that point the car jacker gets in the running vehicle and takes off with the car.  When you observe something on your vehicle drive from the area to a well lit public area before exiting the vehicle to remove the paper, be alert to any vehicles following your vehicle. Report any suspicious incidents as this will assist police in knowing areas where citizens are being targeted.   While driving always keep your vehicle locked, be alert at traffic lights, especially in isolated areas, for anyone approaching your vehicle, if someone approaches and attempts to get in your vehicle sound your horn and if you can safely drive from the area, do so and notify police. A purse on the passenger seat of an unlocked vehicle is an easy target for a suspect waiting near a traffic signal. Be alert to a motor vehicle striking your vehicle while traveling in an isolated area as car jackers may intentionally strike your vehicle and when you exit your vehicle the car jacker gets in your vehicle and leaves along with the second vehicle. If you suspect this is about to occur after an accident use a cell phone to call police and stay in your vehicle, advise the other driver you are calling police or if you don’t have a cell phone ask them to contact police. If no phone is available provide the other driver your plate # by writing it on a piece of paper and slipping it through a small opening in the window and that you request the person follow you to a police station or well lit public area to exchange information.
 Larcenies: The following may help to prevent larcenies around the home. Secure any outside property that can be secured or fastened to a fixed object to make it difficult to remove. Use lighting or motion lights at night. Form a Neighborhood Watch group. Arrange to have a neighbor pick up packages that may be delivered while your at work or away. Do not leave items such as bicycles unlocked or unattended at home or at any other location. Report anyone or anything suspicious.
 
Burglaries: Keep bushes and hedges trimmed. Use lighting, motion lights and timers on inside lights when away. When going away have someone check your property and pick up the mail and newspapers. Contact the police department for a property check request. Keep the lawn mowed and ask neighbors to watch while your away. Always keep doors and windows locked when leaving for any length of time.Motor vehicle theft or larcenies from vehicles: Keep vehicles locked when unattended including driveways. Never leave keys in the vehicle. Lock garages. Secure any packages or valuables in the trunk. Never leave a vehicle running while going into a store or business. Park in well lit areas. Report anyone looking into vehicles or acting suspicious.
 
Fraud: Do not give out information over the phone to anyone or any agency that you can not verify. Shred any mail that contains personal information. Be cautious when participating in any mail, phone, or other types of solicitation when you are not familiar with the solicitor. Always attempt to verify through the proper agencies before conducting any business with someone or a company you are unfamiliar with. At home be cautious of someone trying to distract you while someone else attempts to enter your home through another part of the house. (Try to keep doors and windows locked in areas of the house that are less used or you are away from). Obtain references and multiple estimates for home repair work. Report any suspicious incidents or suspicious persons. Ask for Identification on any one entering your home or property for any type of work and if necessary verify through the agencies office. Any door to door solicitor must have a license through city hall and can be checked by the police department to verify.
 
Motor vehicle accidents or reckless driving: If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident try not to move your vehicle until directed by police. Contact police for an accident report and investigation. If the accident is minor (example parking lot, minor fender scratches etc.) obtain the name, address, date of birth and phone number of both the driver and owner of the other vehicle, the vehicle information (plate number, color, style of vehicle and vehicle identification number) and insurance information including the insurance company, policy number, insured’s name and company code. If there are any witnesses obtain their name, address and phone number. If the police investigate the accident obtain the information above from the police. Contact your insurance company after being involved in an accident.While driving if you observe a vehicle being operated in a reckless manner contact the police and report the vehicle information, plate number, description of the vehicle, manner in which the vehicle is being driven and direction of travel. Do not engage in verbal contact with the driver as this can lead to a physical dispute. If necessary pull off to get away from the reckless operator. If someone is tailgating your vehicle attempt to pull off to let the driver by, if someone follows you go to the nearest police station or if there is no police station nearby go to an area with a lot of people present. If you observe a possible intoxicated driver, report the vehicle information, direction of travel and manner of operation to police.
 
Vehicle breakdowns: If possible carry a cell phone with you in case of a vehicle breakdown. If possible try to get to a populated area if your vehicle is not working properly. If you vehicle breaks down and you do not have a phone go to the nearest business or home to call for assistance and ask for the tow service to meet you at the location where you made the call. Do not get into a vehicle to go for assistance with someone you do not know. If someone stops to assist you, ask them to go and call for help. If you must stay with the vehicle, secure the vehicle and try to watch for assistance from an area near the vehicle but out of view. (This is especially important for women that are alone in an isolated area or at night). Let someone know your travel plans and check in on long trips.
 
Protecting children and teens: Educate young children on avoiding strangers. Teach children their phone number and address in case they need to call for emergency help. Educate young children on inappropriate touches. Educate on safety procedures. Keep hazardous materials or dangerous items away from children. Any guns kept in the home should be locked and out of view from children. Ammunition should be kept in a separate location. Teach bicycle and road safety. Communicate with teens to know where they are going or what they are doing. Supervise any computer use and educate on computer safety and the dangers of meeting anyone through a computer or phone service. Educate young teens or children on the dangers of drug or alcohol use. Communicate with children about their day or concerns they may have. Set an example for them to follow. Take an interest in what they are doing.Suspicious Incidents: If you see something suspicious or someone acting suspicious contact the police. Report any vehicles parked in unusual places or for long periods of time. Attempt to get a plate number if it can be done safely.Reporting an incident: When calling the Oneida City Police calls can be made by calling 363-2323 or 911 in an emergency. When you call the dispatcher will ask you for your name, address and phone number and information regarding the call. Supply as much information on the call as possible as this will assist the responding officer(s). You may be asked to stay on the line if it is a call in progresss for updated information such as a possible burglar leaving a location and the direction they are traveling. When you call you do not have to provide your name, phone number or address but this information may help the responding officer(s) in case they need to contact you for further information. You can request that any information on your identity not be given out on the radio. If you need administrative assistance (information about a call or report, request for directed patrol, information on laws etc.) you can call 363-9111 Monday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Suspected drug activity: If you suspect someone or a location with drug use contact the police and report the information. Activity such as multiple short stay visitors in and out of a location at certain times. People around a parked car for short periods of time or locations where people appear to gather for no reason. If you hear of someone selling drugs contact the police to report the information.Disputes and Assaults: Most disputes or physical disputes can be avoided by staying calm and avoiding verbal disputes which often lead to physical confrontations. If you have a dispute with someone that can not be resolved or may lead to a verbal dispute contact police to resolve the dispute. Do not try to resolve a dispute when you are upset or angry as tempers can get the best of the situation. Alcohol can impair judgement when trying to resolve a dispute.


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