Crime: Tips for elderly

2014-04-25 00:00

CRIME and the fear of crime create special problems for the elderly. Understanding the nature of the problem and knowing what to do to avoid being a victim of crime can help you. Police have provided the following tips and advice.

AT YOUR DOOR/HOME

• Never open your door automatically. Use an optical viewer.

• At night, draw your blinds or curtains and lock the door.

• Lock your doors and windows (Three-quarters of the burglaries involving the elderly take place when they leave their doors and windows unlocked).

• Keep your garage doors locked.

• Vary your daily routine.

• Use “Neighbour Watch” to keep an eye on your neighbourhood. A concerned neighbour is often the best protection against crime because suspicious people and activities are noticed and reported to police promptly.

• Don’t leave notes on the door when going out.

• Leave lights on when going out at night; use a timer to turn lights on and off when you are away for an extended period.

• Don’t place keys under mats, in mail boxes, or other receptacles outside your door.

• Notify neighbours and the police when going away on a trip. Cancel deliveries such as newspapers and arrange for someone — a neighbour’s child, perhaps — to mow the lawn if need be. Arrange for your mail to be held by the Post Office, or ask a neighbour to collect it for you.

• Be wary of unsolicited offers to make repairs to your home. Deal only with reputable businesses.

• Keep an inventory with serial numbers and photographs of resaleable appliances, antiques and furniture. Leave copies in a safe place.

• Don’t hesitate to report crime or any suspicious activities.

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