Crime Prevention

Safety Tips For Kids

Click Here For Information Concerning Child Abduction

Internet Safety Tips

  • Never give out your real name, any personal information (like your age or where you live) when you’re in a public chat room, on an electronic bulletin board or in your E-mail messages.
  • Make up fun nicknames when you are online.
  • Be very careful when on the Internet.  People online may not be who they say they are.
  • Never call anyone you meet on the Internet.
  • Never send anyone you don’t know a picture of yourself.
  • Make sure you never give out any passwords.  People who work for the Internet will never ask for passwords.
  • Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are rude, mean or threatening, and make sure you tell an adult if you get a message like that.  
  • Realize that everything you read or see on the Internet may not be true.
  • Never let anyone pressure you into doing something you feel uncomfortable doing.
  • Never enter an area on the Internet that charges for services without asking permission from a responsible adult first.
  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with any other computer user without getting a parent's permission.
  • Discuss the rules for using the Internet with your parents.  They might put restrictions on the computer to help protect you.

Street Smarts

  • Basic Street Sense
    • Wherever you are - on the street, in an office building or shopping mall, driving, waiting for a bus or subway - stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
    • Send the message that you're calm, confident, and know where you're going.
    • Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave.
    • Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and restaurants, or stores that are open late.

    Never!, Never!, Ever! hitchhike! If for any reason you are stranded please contact the Ashland Police Department. We will either take you home ourselves or make other arrangements to get you home safely! There are bad people out there that ride around and look for kids. When you hitchhike you are asking for TROUBLE. You are inviting a bad person to stop and possibly cause harm to you. Please contact the Ashland Police Department and we will see that you get home.

     Play it safe and never accept a ride from a stranger.

  • On Foot

    • Stick to well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.

    • Don't flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
    • Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps.
    • Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back pocket.
    • Try to use automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand and don't approach the machine if you're uneasy about people nearby.
    • Don't wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements.
    • Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
    • If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted house. If you're scared, yell for help.
    • Have to work late? Make sure there are others in the building, and ask someone - a colleague or security guard - to walk you to your car or transit stop.
    • Check First before you go anywhere with anyone (for any reason at any time)! Check with whoever is in charge of you at the time. If you cannot check, then the answer is NO!
    • Adults can get help from other adults. You do not need to help anyone find a lost puppy, unload a truck, etc., without checking first!
    • Know your full name, address (including state), and telephone number with the area code. Know your parents’ or guardians’ names, too.
    • If you are separated in a store, freeze and then yell your parents’ or guardians’ first and last name. You may ask a clerk or mother with children to go get help for you, but stay where you are.
    • If anyone tries to move or hurt you, make sure you scream, kick, fight, and yell, “You’re not my dad (or mom)!”
    • Use the buddy system; go in groups.
    • You are in charge of your body. No one has the right to touch you or talk about your body in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or is wrong. Use the Power NO, and tell someone.
    • If you find a gun, do not touch it. Leave it alone and tell someone. If a friend wants you to touch or hold it, use the Power NO!
    • Use the Power NO for peer pressure on dares and drugs, too.
    • When you are home alone, keep the door locked and closed for everyone. Let the phone ring, let the answering machine pick it up, or work out a system with your parents or guardians so that no one realizes you are home alone.
    • Have your mom or dad walk with you the first few days of school to pick out the safest route.

School Safety

  • Do not wear or take expensive jewelry or clothing to school.
  • Do not take more money than you need to school.
  • Do not put money in your book bag.
  • Do not stay alone in hallways between classes.
  • If you see a stranger around your school tell a teacher or your parents.
  • Do not play alone on playgrounds, leave when the other children do.

At Home

  • If you have to unlock an outside door when you get home always have the key ready before you get to the door.
  • If you see a stranger near your door or following you, and your mom or dad is not home, DO NOT GO TO YOUR HOME OR APARTMENT. Go to a relative or friends home, or a known neighbors home.
  • Always lock the door behind you.
  • Do not open a door for a any stranger.
    Call the police ( 911 ) if a stranger tries to talk you into opening the door.
  • If you are home alone keep the radio or television on.
  • Never tell anyone you are home alone.

Bicycle Safety

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet.

  • If you must ride at night or low light, always use both a front and rear light and reflector.

  • Always wear bright clothing, such as yellow or fluorescent colors (days) and retro- reflective materials (nights).

  • Keep your brakes in good working order, Be able to stop in 15 feet at 10 mph.

  • Carry parcels in a backpack, bike rack, basket or trailer.

  • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.

  • Walk your bike to the street before mounting it.

  • Look left-right-left for a safe gap in traffic when entering the road or crossing an intersection.

  • At an intersection or driveway avoid being alongside a vehicle, which could suddenly turn right.

  • At an intersection or driveway watch for vehicles that could turn left into your path When riding on a sidewalk or bike path, watch for cars entering/exiting driveways, and always yield the right of way to pedestrians. Give an audible signal when passing a pedestrian. Avoid riding on a sidewalk in a commercial area.

  • Ride on the right side of the road with traffic.

  • Normally ride single file, never more than 2 side by side (do not impede traffic when riding side by side).

  • Check behind you before changing lanes (mirrors make it easier, but look back as well).

  • Be aware of pedestrians and other vehicles. Learn to anticipate their actions.

  • Signal your moves to other vehicle operators, by pointing in the direction you are going to turn.

  • Be aware of potential hazards like trash, potholes, gravel and storm grates, opening car doors.

  • Do not wear headphones while riding a bicycle.

  • Keep your bicycle locked when not in use.

Phone Safety

  • If someone calls you and says bad things over the phone, hang up.  Do not talk to them.

  • If your parents are not home and someone calls and you do not know who they are, never tell them that you are alone.

  • If someone calls and your parents are not home and you do not know who they are, never tell them your phone number or where you live.

  • Always let your parents talk to salespersons or repair persons over the phone, never give them any information.

  • Always tell your parents when someone calls.

  • If you are home alone and someone calls you and you get scared, call the police department.

Guidelines For Parents

Teach your children:

  • Teach them to never talk to strangers.
  • Teach them never to ride their bikes alone; always ride with a buddy and always wear their helmet.
  • Teach them to never play in the street.
  • Teach them to always look both ways and watch for cars before entering or crossing the street.
  • Establish neighborhood boundaries in which they may play.
  • Teach them to never open the door to a stranger when home alone.
  • Teach them that, when answering the telephone, never give out any personal information or let the person who calls know if they are alone.
  • Teach them to be sure to let their parents know exactly where they will be and for how long, and to always call and let them know if they decide to go somewhere else.
  • If they should see a gun, teach them to stop, don't touch, call an adult.
  • Teach them to never get into a car with someone they don't know.
  • If they feel threatened, teach them to run away as fast as they can.
  • Develop a secret password that must be used if someone unfamiliar is to pick them up from school or play.
  • If they come home and something about their house doesn't look right, teach them to go immediately to a neighbor's for help.
  • Teach them that 911 should be used only in emergencies.

Burglary Prevention Tips

Dial 911 if you see anyone climbing through a window in your neighborhood. This is considered suspicious activity and warrants a police investigation. Don't hesitate !!! We need your help in solving crime in Ashland.

Burglary is the crime most likely to affect people of any age. Burglars look for easy targets because most are amateurs, not accomplished professionals. They look for opportunities to get your valuables in the easiest, quickest possible way. There are several things that you can do as a home owner to discourage the thief by making it harder on the thief to accomplish his goal.

Secure Your Home!

Amazingly, statistic show that 30 to 50 percent of home and apartment breaking and enterings happen because someone didn't lock a door or window. In the case of windows, often they were even left open. There is no easier way of providing easy access to a burglar than an open door or window. Doors and windows should always be locked and secured, even if you are only leaving for a few minutes. A method that criminals have used is to wait for you to leave. Remember you want to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to get into your home. You want a burglar to take as much time and make as much noise before gaining entry into your home.

Most law enforcement officers suggest that residential doors should be equipped with a one-inch deadbolt lock. This type of lock can be purchased from a local locksmith or hardware store. An inside chain guard is no substitute for a proper lock. It is suggested that a wide-angle peephole be installed in the door to allow you to identify visitors without opening the door. It is far safer than a chain lock.

The best exterior door to a home is solid wood. Hollow core doors are to fragile and should never be used on the exterior. There are several ways of strengthening your security. If a door has a large piece of glass in it, you can install a metal grill over it. Strengthening the casings around your existing doors, otherwise a swift shove may break the casing or lock and allow the door to open. Remember that a side or back door, being less visible, may be subjected to a stronger attack than your front door.

Sliding windows and doors can be easily pried open. A simple length of broomstick or piece of wood cut to length and placed in the track will prevent the door or window from opening.

Outside Your Home

Good Visibility will discourage any potential burglar. Standard exterior lighting is important. Heavy landscaping may provide a welcome sign to an intruder. Make sure entrances and windows are not hidden from view by vegetation. Cut and prune vegetation away from these areas. Fences can be a useful cover to an intruder once he is on the other side and can use the fence for cover to secret his activity. Please keep in mind that an intruder will use your weak spots to their advantage. Use timers if you are going away on vacation. Ask your neighbor to visually check your home during the day and night and be on the lookout for any suspicious activity. Hardware stores offer economical security lighting devices. One is a sound sensitive light activating unit that activates lights upon detecting sound. It is adjustable for a wide range of sensitivity levels. The light will stay deactivated until it detects sounds. This can be very useful for outside lighting at an entry way or inside of a house when you are away. Lights can be set to activate for a knock at the door or a car door closing in the area. A second type of lighting is infra red that detects body heat. This type of lighting will activate lights should an intruder enter the perimeter violated.

Operation Identification

Property marking is one of the oldest and best methods of crime prevention. If your possessions are stolen (or even lost and later recovered) your permanent I.D. number provides police officers with a verifiable proof of ownership. One of the most common methods is to inscribe your social security number on the bottom or side of an article. Your number can easily be traced even if your property is recovered in another county or state thanks to the law enforcement computer network in place.

An inscription tool costs $5-$10 at a hardware or department store. The Ashland Police Department is willing to assist in this area by allowing you to use their inscription tool. Please, Please, Please, keep a list of all your valuables in a safe place and record all serial numbers and model numbers of your valuables. If you are victimized this information will be entered in the National Crime Information Computer and anyone in possession of your property would be considered as receiving stolen property.

Your insurance company will also need detailed information on your articles of value along with proof of ownership. This means that you should keep all receipts and proof of purchases as best as possible with your serial numbers and model numbers. Taking pictures of your valuables is also a tool to show the police what size, condition and shape of your articles..

House Alarms

The best way to protect your property is to have an alarm in good working order. An alarm monitoring company for a nominal monthly fee can alert the police department if your home is violated. Depending on the system, they can alert the police to what part of your house has been violated. The alarm can be set while you sleep and while you are away. This offers a much more rapid response of the police department to your home and lessens the chances of an intruder taking your possessions. The alarm company can set the alarm up to be either silent or audible based on different factors.

False alarms are the only draw back. The town of Ashland allows three false alarms per household. This is to allow the owner and the alarm company to adjust the alarm properly. The owner can be assessed a $50 fee per false alarm should they persist. This is to motivate the owner to keep his system in good working order without burdening the police department with numerous false alarms. Our mission is to solve crimes committed against you. By paying attention to these crime tips you will be helping the Ashland Police Department in their efforts to solving the crime and punishing the perpetrators.

Identity Theft

Six ways to clear your name

It can take months to repair the work of an identity thief.  Here's where to start:

File a report with your local police department.  "That gives you victim status," says Tracey Thomas of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357.

Get reports from the major credit bureaus, Equifax (888-766-0008), Experian (888-397-3742) and TransUnion (800-680-7289), and request a fraud alert on your credit file.  If you find accounts that don't belong to you contact the creditor directly.  Also contact all creditors who have made non-promotional inquiries into your credit file.  Send all letters certified mail, return receipt requested.

Contact the fraud departments at the banks, credit-card companies and investment firms that you have accounts with.  Ask them to require a PIN or password for all transactions or changes to your accounts.  Do not use your mothers maiden name or the last four numbers of your social security  number as your passwords.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau once a year.

Get additional help on how to clear your name from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse at www.privacyrights.org and Identity Theft Resource Center at www.idtheftcenter.org.

If necessary, find referrals to lawyers who specialize in fair Credit Reporting Act issues thru the National Association of Consumer Advocates at www.naca.net/resource.htm.

 

Additional Links

Federal Trade Commissions

Equifax

Experian

TransUnion

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