December 12, 2008
MMC Department of Campus Safety Offers Holiday Safety Tips
Peter DeCaro, Director of Campus Safety, 212-517-0685; firstname.lastname@example.org
71st Street Campus Safety, 212-517-0411
55th Street Campus Safety, 212-371-2350
In case of emergency, dial 911, Non-emergency dial, 311
(New York, NY) With the holiday season upon us, many people are preoccupied with details of holiday planning and shopping. Unfortunately, common safety precautions can be forgotten as the excitement of the season causes people to let our guard down. Marymount Manhattan College and the New York Police Department are offering safety tips to help you avoid being a crime victim this holiday season.
Peter DeCaro, director of Campus Safety for Marymount Manhattan College says one of the more common crimes in Manhattan, especially during the holiday season, is the theft of unattended property.
“When you are out in a public place, be it a library, a restaurant or a bar (for those of you over 21) don’t hang your purse over the back of your chair,” he says. “A skilled individual will be able to remove your purse or wallet with ease and without your knowledge. Keep your purse on your lap or between your feet under your table.”
“Laptops, shopping bags, briefcases, or holiday packages should never be left unattended anywhere,” DeCaro adds, “it only takes a second for someone to snatch your property and run. Don’t ask strangers to “watch” them for you, either.”
DeCaro says the holiday season also brings an increase in pickpockets around the city. “Be alert of persons causing a fuss or attempting to divert your attention,” he says. “Pick pockets work in teams and use many schemes to distract potential victims. Be especially wary in crowds, namely buses, subways and crowded stores.”
HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS
• Be alert of your surroundings at all times. Criminals often target people who are distracted.
• Whether driving, walking or taking public transportation, plan the trip in advance. Know how to get to your destination by the most direct and safest route.
• If possible, stay in designated waiting areas or in view of the station booth clerk while awaiting your train. Never walk or stand near the edge of the subway platform.
• Travel on populated, well lit streets. If possible, travel with a friend.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash when shopping, if possible.
• Carry your purse close to your body. Place one end of the purse in the palm of your hand and the other in the bend of the elbow. Never wrap the strap around your body.
• Holiday crowds provide plenty of opportunity for pickpockets – protect your wallet and handbag.
• When in a restaurant, don’t leave your handbag over the back of your chair or on the floor. Never leave belongings unattended.
• Don’t wait until you have reached your front door to look for your keys. Have them ready in your hand. If a stranger is standing near your door, it may be a good idea not to go in until the situation feels safer.
• If you live in an apartment building, don’t buzz in someone who rings your bell until you have verified who they are. This will help protect both you and your neighbors.
• If you live in the residence halls, always lock your door and secure your valuables.
• Be wary of telephone and email solicitations asking for personal information about your accounts, passwords or social security number.
• Be wary of holiday con games. There are many elaborate schemes used to steal your property or identity. Remember, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
• If you have elderly family members or neighbors, please remember to check in on them.
• PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE and DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!