Nobody wants to be the victim of a robbery, sexual assault, carjacking or other personal crime. Although most are rare occurrences, we must be aware of the possibility and take precautions to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim. The Crime Prevention Unit of the Edina Police Department is available to talk to your Edina group about Personal Safety (and other topics). Contact Crime Prevention at (952) 826-1610 to arrange a presentation.
If you go out at night, stay in well lit areas. Avoid doorways, dark streets or alleys and other potential hiding places. Carry a flashlight, if possible.
While walking or jogging, don’t wear headphones-be alert and aware of your surroundings. Make eye contact with people around you.
If you have a cell phone, take it with you.
If possible, walk with a friend.
If you are being followed, turn and look at the person to let them know you are aware of their presence. Know your resources- the nearest 24 hour business or police station- so you can walk, run or drive there. If anyone continues to follow you, call the police.
Think ahead, imagine yourself in a critical situation and the things you could do if attacked. Decide whether to resist or cooperate, follow your gut instinct. Plan for both options and always keep looking for an opportunity to escape.
When removing your wallet, don’t reveal cash or credit cards. Carry a handbag close to your body with the clasp towards you. Men should carry wallets in their front or inside pockets.
Personal protection devices such as chemical sprays may be helpful in some situations where your safety is at risk.
To be useful, the spray should be in your hand, not in the bottom of a briefcase or purse. There won’t be time to retrieve it if a critical incident should develop.
When using the spray outdoors, be mindful of the wind- it may blow the spray back at you.
Chemical sprays expire so always check the expiration date on your canister.
“Shriek alarms” can help alert others to the situation without any potential harm to you.
If a robber demands your valuables, most often the best choice is to give them up.
If confronted by a person with a weapon, stay calm. Evaluate the situation and look for a chance to alert others or escape.
Try to remember a general description of the attacker and any distinguishing characteristics such as scars, tattoos or other marks.
As soon as possible after any encounter, call the police and write down everything you can remember about your assailant.
In Your Car
Park in well lit areas and always lock your vehicle.
Do not leave any valuables inside the vehicle; if that is unavoidable, place belongings in the trunk before you get to your destination.
While walking to your car, have the key ready in your hand as you approach. Check inside and around your vehicle before entering it.
If someone attempts to break into your vehicle while you’re waiting at an intersection, honk the horn repeatedly and attempt to drive away.
If followed by another vehicle, do not drive home or attempt to confront the follower. Call police if you have a cell phone with you. Drive to the nearest police station or a 24-hour business.