August 19, 2008
Police Recommend Safety Precautions, Awareness
In the wake of several violent assaults against women that recently took place in Wilmington, including two this past weekend in the vicinity of the UNC Wilmington campus, UNCW Police and the Wilmington Police Department urge students, faculty and staff to increase their vigilance and take extra precautions to insure their personal safety.
While these particular assaults involved female victims, law enforcement officers suggest the following safety tips as crime prevention strategies to reduce the chances of anyone becoming a victim of a violent crime.
- Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, get out immediately.
- Avoid walking alone, particularly late at night and early in the morning, downtown and in areas around bars.
- Travel in groups when leaving restaurants or bars, and make sure everyone in the group reaches their destination safely.
- Park in well-lit areas, and, if possible, in locations that have heavy pedestrian traffic. Look around for loiterers before you get out of your car and before returning to your car. Do not approach your car to get in if you feel unsafe.
- Be aware of vehicles that may follow you from a particular location. If you feel you are being followed, use a cell phone to notify law enforcement, or attempt to drive to a law enforcement or fire department facility.
- Do not accept a drink from anyone you do not know, and do not leave a drink unattended where a drug could be added without your knowledge. Consider covering your drink with a napkin when in a crowded location such as a bar.
- You are more vulnerable when impaired; avoid excessive drinking, and, if you are impaired, have someone you know well assist you in getting home.
- Take a cell phone with you so you will be able to call for help, and make sure that it is fully charged.
- Be cautious of strangers, and do not give them rides or leave a populated area with someone you just met.
- When walking, biking, jogging or participating in other outdoor activities, choose a route that is well-lit and well-populated. Inform friends or family of the route you plan to take. Avoid these activities after dark.
- Report all suspicious persons and activities by calling 911.
Take advantage of the following safety resources on the UNCW campus:
- Call UNCW Police at 910.962.2222 to request an after-hours security escort.
- Use the call boxes installed throughout campus to contact UNCW Police in an emergency situation.
- Take a self-defense class. Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes for women are offered each semester. A schedule of courses for Fall 2008 and an online registration form can be found at http://www.uncw.edu/police/radschedule.htm.
- Attend a UNCW Safety Symposium. Two sessions will be offered, September 9 from 10 a.m. to noon or September 10 from 2- 4 p.m., in Education Building Room 162.
- Check out UNCW's safety Web page at http://www.uncw.edu/safe-relate/
In all cases, report suspicious activity by calling 911.