Really what it boils down to is a battle with complacency. Just because your car hasn't been broken into before when you left your purse or laptop visible doesn't mean it won't happen when you do it again. As Police Officers we constantly battle complacency; sometimes an alarm will go off frequently at a location. Even when that happens we need to respond with sound tactics; because the one time we don't someone will get hurt or killed.
The Center for Problem Oriented Policing says the following in relation to how crime occurs:
The problem analysis triangle (also known as the crime triangle) comes from one of the main theories of environmental criminology - routine activity theory. This theory, originally formulated by Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson, states that predatory crime occurs when a likely offender and suitable target come together in time and place, without a capable guardian present.
|Illustration of the crime triangle|
Based on this theory if we can eliminate one of the sides of the triangle, such as the suitable target we can eliminate the crime. There are two crimes that draw my attention in relation to this theory. The first, larceny from autos. By following these three tips I think we could cut this crime by a considerable amount:
1. Always lock your vehicle (seems simple, but you would be amazed by how many don't do it).
2. Store valuables in your trunk or remove them from the vehicle.
3. Park in lighted areas.
A second crime with a few simple steps that could help eliminate a large number of problems is fraud. By following these tips we could reduce the number of frauds:
1. If someone tells you they will buy an item from you by check/cashiers check/etc. but they want to make the check out for a value over the sale price and have you mail the difference back to them; don't do it. I have never encountered a real business transaction done this way. It is always a fraud.
2. Adjust your social media profiles so that your date of birth is not visible.
3. Never give your social security number to anyone you are not certain represents a legitimate business.
Let's all make it our resolution for 2012 to be a little more security conscious and battle complacency together!